Should I Get A Divorce? Weighing The Pros And Cons Of Separating

Mending a broken heart by Nicolas RaymondAfter reading Sam’s How To Prevent Your Wealthy Man From Straying, I’ve been thinking a lot about my own situation. You see, I’m the mother of three boys, and I’m the wealthy one in the relationship. As a government employee, I make about $78,000 a year, but my wealth really comes from my parents, who left me about $2 million dollars in real estate and investments when they passed away last year.

My husband is a finance professional who has floundered around in the finance industry for the past 15 years. He’s never worked for the larger, more prestigious banks, but always the lower tier financial institutions that never got any respect from clients. My husband isn’t the most handsome or the smartest man in finance, but he is very gregarious and sociable. Clients like him, they just don’t take anything he has to say seriously, if you know what I mean.

Let’s call my husband Jim. Part of Jim’s job is to travel around the country to wine and dine clients and make sure they are receiving the service they need. He usually goes for a couple days. One trip, I noticed his clothes smelled like female perfume. I’ve got a keen nose and knew it was Eternity for Women.

When I asked Jim why he smelled like CK's Eternity, he shrugged. He said that the perfume probably rubbed off on his clothes after hugging his female client goodbye. He explained they all went to a bar after dinner. Fine, whatever.

In The Middle Of The Night

Then one evening, I was awoken by couple text message bings on Jim’s phone. He was snoring fast asleep and I’m a light sleeper. I couldn’t unlock his phone to read the message, but I didn’t have to. The text message popped up on the homescreen automatically and said, “What are you doing honey? I miss you.”

I stayed awake for hours staring at the bedroom ceiling wondering who this bitch was. The name said, “Steve Eliz” which didn’t make much sense. Incredibly, right before I was about to go to bed his phone bings again! This time, the message was from “Steve Tracy” that said, “When are you coming down to visit me again.”

That bastard! “Steve” was essentially a fake name where he’d start to categorize the women he was going out with. Their real names would be Steve’s last name.

I woke Jim up, pissed, and asked him about Elizabeth and Tracy. He first said he didn’t know any Elizabeth or Tracy. And then he said Steve Eliz and Steve Tracy were friends he met on his travels. He then admitted after shaking off his groggy cobwebs that Elizabeth and Tracy were just two girls he met when he went on his last business trip to LA. They were just “friends” he met when he and his clients were out of town, but he didn’t want to put their full names in because I might get the wrong message!

I knew Jim was bullshitting, but I didn’t want to confront him any longer. Maybe he really was just having an innocent conversation with other women.

I’m used to Jim going out 2-3 times a week to entertain clients. But what I’m not used to is him not coming home. His first excuse was that he was too drunk to drive home, so he passed out in his car. Fair enough. But then the frequency of passing out in his car increased to once a week. When I told him to just Uber it home, he retorted that he would then have to Uber it back to work. Why waste $90?

Then one evening when he wasn’t back by 1am, I texted him asking where he was. He said that he was staying at his friend’s place in the city. So logically, I called his friend up and asked whether Jim was there. The friend said “No.”

I Know He’s Cheating On Me

I know Jim has been cheating on me for the past 10 years, but I’ve never caught him red-handed. I also know the women he’s cheating with are just laughing behind my back as he buys them lavish gifts and buys them plane tickets to meet him wherever his next business trip takes him.

The problem is, I feel like it’s impossible to divorce him due to the SHAME I will feel for my three sons, and the embarrassment I will feel from my friends and relatives. We had an amazing wedding with over 300 guests. How could I let them down? How could I let my boys down and explain to them daddy was a cheating bastard who doesn’t care about mommy anymore?

It’s hard enough raising three kids, let alone as a single parent. Jim and I have great moments together during the weekends where we spend time together as a family. He treats me and the boys well when we’re together for the most part. He’s just a philandering, asshole when he’s not with us.

If we divorce, we’ll have to spend money on lawyers. I’m also afraid that I’ll have to split my inheritance with him. If we divorce, I’m afraid my boys will hate me because they love their daddy and don’t realize what daddy is doing behind our backs. Boys have a special bond with fathers that I’m envious I cannot replicate.

Divorce seems like the messiest way out of an unhappy married given so much is at stake for me. I know I should leave him, but I’m afraid of living a life alone as a 42 year old woman.

The Pros Of Getting A Divorce

  • I no longer have to feel like a fool for letting him betray me.
  • I no longer have to listen to his lies as he explains where he’s been.
  • I no longer have to feel ashamed for living a failed marriage.
  • I no longer have to get laughed at behind my back by the women he’s with and the friends who know what he’s doing.
  • The kids can hopefully understand one day the importance of being an honest person.
  • The sooner I can break free, the sooner I can move on with my life.
  • The sooner I can break free, the less he’ll take of my parent’s money.

The Cons of Getting A Divorce

  • I’ll have let down my family, friends, and children.
  • I’ll feel like an embarrassment to family, friends, and children.
  • Lawyer fees are expensive and things could get very contentious.
  • There’s a small chance he might actually not be consistently cheating on me. Maybe I’m wrong? Innocent people are wrongly incarcerated every year.
  • It’s very hard to raise three kids by myself and I will need to hire help since my parents are no longer living, and I can’t count on his parents to baby sit anymore because that would be way too awkward.
  • I’m accustomed to paying the bills, raising a family, going on trips, working, vacationing and all that as a married woman for the past 10 years.
  • I’m afraid of being alone. And I think it will take a ton of adjustment.
  • I don’t think I’ll be able to find anybody else at my age. Maybe, but I know it’s going to be hard. Who wants a broken woman who is 42 years old with three kids? Hopefully there is someone out there, but I don’t know.

Has anybody gone through such a situation before where they knew they should leave their spouse, but was too afraid to do so? What are some things you might attempt first before going through a divorce? We’ve already had couples counseling before.

Thank you for allowing me to share my situation. I hope to get some insights from the Financial Samurai community!

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93 thoughts on “Should I Get A Divorce? Weighing The Pros And Cons Of Separating”

  1. Bridget Borden

    My first marriage was a mistake. We were a dancing couple, falling in love, an unplanned pregnancy, a registry office. The usual story. We were connected only by dances, and after the birth of a child we had to forget about them altogether. But I thought that our boat of love should stay afloat no matter what. The marriage lasted five years, during which I periodically thought about divorce. Sometimes out loud. But there was not enough determination. Largely because everything was normal outwardly: we almost did not quarrel, did not live in poverty, the way stabilized over the years, the child grew up. But there was nothing in common.
    At first we chatted a lot: where did you study, what do you do, how do you look at the world, who are your parents and friends, what kind of music do you listen to, what books do you read, what films do you prefer to watch. At the dating stage, there is always something to talk about. But over time, the topics have exhausted themselves. Both became clear – there was nothing to discuss.
    Sometimes it came to views on life values. And here another problem arose. My husband is five years younger than me, and I turned out to be too experienced partner for him in almost all areas of life. As a result, the dialogue did not work out – it was more like consultation. The husband was a smart and grateful listener, but I was getting bored.Communication should mutually enrich. You should have a similar cultural background that you can build together. When one constantly pulls the other along with him or when people follow different paths, the vital chatter gradually disappears.

  2. It’s now 3 years later… does anyone know what Michelle decided to do?

    Michelle – I am separated with 3 kids. I am so much happier separated. Our issues were not about trust, but other relationship problems.

    We share custody and co-parent effectively. The kids are doing great. We still do some events together as a family.

    The actual separation was of course a difficult period… emotions ran high and there was a lot of stress. We used a mediator to help us reach a separation agreement.

    For me the biggest concern was around the children. I sought professional advice and also did a lot of research. Once I was confident the children could still be happy and successful, I was comfortable moving forward. My ex and I planned carefully how to tell them, and how to support them during and after the separation. This has worked out well.

    I think it’s important that each parent supports the kids’ relationship with their other parent. I also think parents should not discuss private relationship issues or complaints about the ex with their kids. Children need to feel safe loving both parents, without any pressure to choose sides.

    Financially… The cost of living alone is of course higher, and I also must pay child support to my ex. But the big plus has been that I can now make all my financial decisions without having to consult anyone else. I am a saver and my ex was a spender.

    I hope everything has worked out for you! If you read this, let us know how you are doing.

  3. Get the poor bugger some help. If you haven’t figured out yet that those years of floundering have affected his self esteem, well … then you’ve also affected his self esteem. Life is messy.

  4. I’m sorry for your unfortunate situation. I am going through a similar situation. I am almost divorced after a year of separation. I have 3 children ages 14(boy), 10(girl), and 3(boy). I’m hearing a sadness and hopelessness in your post. I just went through the absolute worst and best year of my life. BTW, I am a 33 year old female. My ex cheated on me and I was going to divorce him quickly, but he begged for my forgiveness and then got me pregnant. So I stayed 3 more years with him mostly due to being pregnant and taking care of a baby. We still had some good times after that but I could never quite shake the distrust.
    Eventually I realized I was fantasizing about a life I didn’t have and felt so empty inside.I too in some ways thought it might be hard to move on.I feel attractive for my age but we all have our insecurities, not the least of which was having 3 children. Unlike you I didn’t have a healthy income to raise my children with. The financial struggle has been the most real to me. I have worked my ass off the past year and wished I had more family help… They live far away and I am stuck now due to custody issues. All that being said, while I have not realized financial success yet, I am getting there and starting to see a glimmer of hope, starting to dream again. The battle you will face is probably not the one you are anticipating. For me it has been nothing less than an extreme mental challenge… I have learned that keeping a positive mindset and mastering my own thoughts has been the key to putting my life back together. At some of my lowest points I didn’t have the will to live anymore. One of the higher points was being validated by a man who not only told me I was beautiful but kissed me in such a way that made me feel so alive again. (It does feel good to be validated by others!)
    I have found a wonderful man whom I’ve been dating for 6 months… He treats me amazing. We are taking things slow intentionally.
    All that being said at the end of the day, you will look in the mirror and realize you are the only one you can depend on and you will most likely have major trust issues. Good luck and many blessings in whatever you choose. There is no right or wrong choice just many different paths to take!

  5. Sorry to hear about your situation. I was 49 when I found out that my ex was cheating on me. He wanted to have an open marriage. I said no, and filed for divorce. We had been together for 28 years. We have 2 girls, one 20 and one 8 at the time. It has been 3 years and I can tell you that it was the best decision I’ve ever met. For me, cheating is a deal breaker. There is no shame in standing up for yourself. Refuse to be a door mat. People respect you for having the courage, strength and integrity to look out for yourself and your children. For the divorce, we split everything 50/50, and I found that being on my own, I am able to save a lot more money, and have been able to build up a very comfortable nest egg. I’m sure the fact that I’ve worked during the marriage helps. Please believe in yourself! Your children will admire you! Best of luck!

  6. I find it telling that you included his professional shortcomings in this, as well as the fact that you don’t consider him attractive or intelligent. It is likely that he is insecure about not being the breadwinner in the family; that coupled with your contempt for him may be contributing to his behavior. As PK noted he may be trying to prove his desirability to himself and to you, since it seems he isn’t getting much respect at home.

  7. I’m very sorry you find yourself in this situation, and I wish you the best of luck.

    While I think it’s a very safe bet he is cheating on you, I would recommend finding out for sure. Private detectives are quite cheap, and if he’s being as indiscreet as you describe it will take one about 1/2 day to confirm for certain (if you go the route of a divorce, this will be a tiny drop in the bucket of professional fees). Also, it would be nice to know for sure if, down the road, he protests his innocence and blames you for the divorce (sorry to dredge up dark scenarios, but he could say you made up the cheating stories b/c you didn’t want to share your parents’ estate – divorce seems like it can get gloves off very quickly). People make think this is a stupid and wasteful move, but going from 99.8% certain to 100.0% would be worth a few hundred dollars to me.

    And I do think his indiscretion is a signal – sometimes people want to get caught. If he is cheating, it’s a horrible thing, but perhaps he knows all too well your thoughts re: his professionalism (and looks, and intelligence) and wants to “prove” someone can actually like him for who he is. Or maybe (my .2% above), he’s making all of this up. Hearing his side – hopefully with a marriage counselor – would be a nice thing, even if you do end up divorcing.

    I wish you the best of luck.

  8. Bottom line, you’re scared. Your life is on autopilot and pleasant. You have a nice place, nice kids, nice family, nice social standing, and you are so terrified that could all be mucked up. You’re more worried about what everyone else will think of you and your standing in the community and with your family and how you will be viewed than about what this is doing to you. Just look at how you laid it out in the pros and cons, disappointing family, shame about what people will think, what the kids with think, etc. Those are all excuses to keep you from experiencing the scary side of living alone and being divorced.

    You know what isn’t on the list? Getting a permanent STD like Herpes. Getting a nutcase woman wanting to be the lady in his life stalking you or more importantly your kids. Getting a call from a woman wanting him to start paying palimony for their love child, money that should be going to YOUR children. Having your bank account and your parent’s inheritance get slowly sucked dry to pay for his infidelity instead of helping you and your kids. Or best of all, having him find someone else and dumping YOU after cleaning out all the money and bank accounts.

    Get a lawyer, get a privite investigator to track him on his trips a few times to get definitive evidence. Verify via the PI and Lawyer that he hasn’t been hording money or isn’t in staggering debt that he’s hidden from you. Start separating the money now before he does it for you, because he will. Even if you are willing to give marriage counceling a shot, go to the lawyer and PI first to get as much evidence to know what exactly you are dealing with. He may wait a year, or five, or ten. Heck, he may be waiting until the kids are adults before dumping you. But guaranteed when he sees an opportunity to go, he will go and take it all with him. It takes two parties to make this work. He has no, zero, zip, nada, incentive to make your marriage work beyond what is going on now. You busted him ten years ago and have done nothing.

    So he has nothing to fear. He can keep enjoying things as they are until something better presents itself or until he decides to end it. You think you have everything to fear, but that’s the problem. Your own insecurities are caging you into living a life ruled by fear, fear of being alone, fear of being shamed, fear of his anger, fear of loss of social standing, fear of ridicule.

    It’s your life, you have to decide how you want to live it.

  9. I am sorry this is happening. Whatever the reasons he cheated, he cheated and you should end this. My biggest concern is how he risked your safety by cheating. Imagine if he got HIV, or an STD and then gave it to you. He was willing to risk the life you had for fun.

    Not my business, but were you two having sex atleast once a week, going out on dates a few times a month? Do you eat dinner as a family together often? Attend church, talk, laugh and have fun? I would imagine this marriage has been over for quite a long time and is more of a friendship/roomates/ rasing the kids relationship.

    You didnt fail, things happen. When the crap hit the fan he cheated.
    Good Luck

  10. Go over to Start posting there. Read “Love must be tough.” I was scared as heck to be alone. I know the fear can be paralyzing, and the fear of what everyone else thinks can be paralyzing. I let that hold me back for a long time. I thought everyone will be so disappointed…my aunts and uncles, everyone who traveled, I’ll look like a failure. The reality is that you are not the center of the universe, and nobody really cares that much about your life. It is YOUR life and nobody is going to look out for your interests other than you. Especially not your husband. He’s got it good, doesn’t he? I would refuse to help him keep up the charade and have his playing on the side. They say you have to be willing to lose your marriage to save it. You need to get his respect and pretending everything is just fine will simply cause him to lose respect for you. See the lawyer. You don’t have to do anything, just learn what your options are. Once you have that firmly in place, I would tell him that he is completely allowed to date as much as he wants, but not as your husband. He has to choose. You know he’s cheating, don’t get caught up in needing “proof”. You’ve got your proof. You may not have all the details but you know. Best of luck.

  11. mysticaltyger

    I disagree with those who say divorce is no big deal, implying that it won’t hurt the kids. In most instances, staying in a bad marriage is the lesser of two evils when you factor in the effect on the kids. Kids whose parents divorce have more discipline problems in school, have shorter life expectancy, and are more likely to divorce and/or have unstable relationships themselves.

    I do agree Michelle should see both a therapist and a lawyer. But I think making the best of this very bad situation means making long term divorce plans and plotting this out very carefully…and ideally waiting until the youngest kid is at least 18.

  12. I hope you can seek professional counseling for the two of you (and maybe individual counseling too) and really get to the point of having open and honest conversations about everything. We have heard one side of the story (and it doesn’t sound good), I wonder what the other side might be. Not saying that in a snarky way at all, by the way, but there are always two sides.

    Ultimately, putting aside whatever we think represents right or wrong (and I think the cheating is never acceptable), it’s about shared commitment to each other and the marriage. I’m hoping the two of you can work through these difficult times and come though it stronger. All the best.

  13. Oh, and pick up “After the Affair,” a stellar book on infidelity.

    Suggest to your husband that he also read it!

  14. Bottom line: all marriages have issues. There is NEVER an excuse for infidelity.

    I repeat: NEVER.

    Almost certainly both of you have contributed to issues in the marriage that “loaded the gun,” but no one makes anyone else pull the trigger on cheating.

    Take care of YOU. If you think there’s a chance at salvaging the marriage, you can leave the door open for that for whatever time period you consider reasonable, but your spouse has to decide to walk through that door, and do it with the recognition that he will be an integral part of the healing process for you. If he does not do that, then you seriously need to consider if he is worth any more of your time.

  15. I’ll tag along with WSB. I think you have said your Hail Mary’s and are looking for support for the decision you have already made.
    Having said that, if you still “love” your man and think he still “loves” you, you did say he was great when he was home, then by all means arrange some kind of counselling. If he doesn’t want to then that clarifies your decisions.
    Again, if you still “love” your man and the time with him then by all means sit down with him and clarify what is going on. Would he be happy if you, excuse me ladies, had your fieid plowed by another farmer sowing their seeds? It might just get his head straightened out as to the implications of all this. After all, what is good for the gander is good for the goose. You would have to accept that as well, enjoying another man. You never know, you might enjoy it! Stranger things have happened.
    More than most likely inherited money will remain yours unless as mentioned above it was minged in a joint account. Better to separate it out before hand.
    Remember that lawyers make money arguing. So if you opt for a divorce then try to get things settled between you before meeting the lawyer. The hard part is trying to stay cool headed and ask for what you really need and not what your friends and lawyers will tell you that you are “entitled” to. Much less expensive if it is an “amical” divorce.
    I divorced my ex back in 1990 after she brought home a bit more than a bottle of rum from a trip to Cuba. We settled everything before going to see a lawyer. YES, you can use just one lawyer if it is an amical divorce. Once we had settled everything with the lawyer, and she made some changes to what we had settled on, she then asked who was asking for the divorce. Once I said it was me she then said that she was my lawyer from that point on. I met with her after this and she asked me why I was giving away this or that. My response was that that is what we had agreed upon. ALWAYS remember that lawyers make money argueing, especially against one another. So if you can keep it to one lawyer there won’t be much argueing and that is a lot less expensive.
    Stay cool, settle before going to the lawyer if possble, come out the other end sad but not down trodden. The only ones making money in a fight are the lawyers and you will not only have a lot less money but be bitter as well and that is not good for the kids.

    Take care

  16. Wall Street Playboys

    So instead of trying to solve this in a mature way with your husband (privately) you decide to ask for attention from anonymous people on the Internet.

    What a great “catch”.

    Bob is correct. You already don’t respect him and you already made your decision before you decided to complain on the Internet.

    You just wanted the comments to be filled with “you go girl!” comments.

    If you cared about saving your marriage you wouldn’t go on the Internet to ask strangers about your life where he could potentially find this post in the first place.

    Asking for attention =/= any solutions.

    If you really want a Hail Mary go for the counseling but it doesnt sound like either of you care enough to fix it.

    1. wall street playboy huh? your name explain everything…… I am sure Michelle here is ask for help, she prefer to go anonymously because she`s still not sure with her feeling….but I am sure she`ll soon learn that divorce is the right answer, because once trust is broken, you will never able to fixed it like before.

  17. Be a strong role model for the kids…. They see EVERYTHING. Don’t be the example of how a woman handles a cheating man. And allows it… You have three boys, I don’t think this is how you would want them to treat their future wives/significant others.

    1. No, it is absolutely not. I fear if I do something wrong, they will grow up to be just like their father….

  18. I had so many of the same worries as you when I got divorced. I thought everyone would see me as a failure, I thought I would screw up my kids, I was filled with shame.

    But after failed marriage counseling and being sick of being miserable everyday I decided to go forward with the divorce. Afterward it was HARD. Like really, really hard to be a single parent for that first six months to a year.

    But now, I am the happiest I’ve ever been. It took some serious time to get adjusted but I have a good relationship with the father of my kids. (We do shared parenting.) My kids are completely happy and I’ve now found a man who has shown me what a good and healthy relationship looks like. I’ll never turn back.

    Whoever, made that comment about a man needing to spread their seed is completely wrong. Not all men are like that. There are some amazing men out there who will want you and ONLY you and treat you like gold.

    So in a nutshell, if your biggest worry is letting people down you need to push that aside. There will be a year long adjustment period for you and your kids but as long as you can maintain a good relationship with the father of your children everything will work out fine. In the long run you’ll get to see how much better life is without having to worry about what your husband is or isn’t doing.

    Also, I was afraid to be alone too. But that was actually the easiest thing to get used to.

    I’m wishing you the best for whatever decision you do make!

    1. Thank you Alexa for sharing your experience. I’m glad to hear that you found someone and are getting along with your ex-husband. If being alone was the easiest to get used to, what was the hardest to get used to? How did you meet your new boyfriend? And if you didn’t meet him and were still single, do you think you are the same way?

      I think I might have had more courage if I was younger. Now, I’m just not so sure.

  19. From someone who’s been through this before, here is my advice:
    1) Go to individual therapy. You can ask your therapist to code his/her diagnosis so that your insurance will cover the cost. If, after a sufficient amount of therapy, you determine that staying in the marriage will destroy you, then you have your answer. If, on the other hand, you learn that there are things you can do to save your marriage and keep your family intact, then you’ll have to try, otherwise you’re going to look back and doubt yourself for the rest of your life. Find a support group and start spending time with friends who are supportive and keep you positive, and pursuing activities that you love and make you feel happy or alive.
    2) In the meantime, start getting a very good understanding of your families’ financial affairs by collecting tax returns, bank account statements, credit card statements, etc. Contribute as much as you can afford to your children’s 529 plans. Research your state’s laws regarding divorce and asset protection. In many states, as long as your inheritance did not become comingled with community property, then it would be considered your separate property in the divorce and would not be subject to the division (meaning also, it wouldn’t show up on your side of the ledger when you are dividing things up). You need to consult with a lawyer who understands both family law and asset protection and do what is necessary to protect your inheritance. Even if you decide to fight for your marriage, the fact that you have some very strong evidence that your husband is both unfaithful and dishonest means that your marriage is at risk of a divorce, whether it’s tomorrow or ten years from now. What happens if he falls in love with one of these women and decides to leave you? Isn’t it just a good business decision to spend $10 or $20k in legal bills to protect a $2m inheritance?

    1. Thanks. I really need to get my family finances and affairs in order. They are a mess, and something I must prepare to do if I’m going to take the next step. I just hope things don’t get nasty with the children involved. He’s been withdrawing from my trust for way too long on things we don’t need.

  20. Hi Michelle. As you can see we all have different views but a lot of themes are the same – seek legal counsel, consider marriage counseling if there are enough positives that make you want to keep the relationship, and try not to be afraid of change.

    It doesn’t seem like your husband is going to change his ways with that many instances. Take pictures and copies of whatever evidence you can and talk to a lawyer. We only live once after all. You want to be happy and feel whole again. Best of luck!

  21. Good for you for having the courage to share your story! First off…42 honey, your best years are in front of you not behind you…trust me there are no shortages of opportunities for love out there. I am 44 and when I was 41 I had a girlfriend actually tell me that she was my last chance and I’d never find anybody if I didn’t make it work with her (for the record she seeing her ex behind my back and was simply another way for her to try and manipulate me). So all of the posters here have some valid points, some more tastefully communicated than others. Not that you want my advice or opinion but here it goes:

    1) you already know the right answer…hopefully writing it down was therapeutic and helped you see the light.
    2) don’t be afraid to be single…embrace it, own it…confidence is intoxicating to the opposite sex
    3) I have a three of married guy friends your age or less with 3 kids each…they constantly joke about how they get sex so infrequently it is comical. Like once a month type silly, pleasuring each other in other ways nearly non-existent. They are 100% faithful, but I personally could not live in that world. Your relationship with your partner comes before kids, before other friends, before work…essentially if you don’t work to put each other first it isn’t ever going to work. There are two sides to every story and I absolutely do not condone cheating of any type, but if you have let yourself go and don’t feel sexy anymore and have sex less than 40-50 times a year with your partner there’s going to be issues.
    3) Get out sooner rather than later…I witnessed my affluent friends go through money like water in the 4 years proceeding them finally getting a divorce. Yep it will be expensive, yep he will probably get some of your parents money, but welcome to real world, definitely not fair. Men get the short end of the stick all the time too…you’ve made a series of bad choices, don’t compound it by staying in a crappy relationship because your afraid of losing money or respect.
    4) Get busy living the rest of your life, exercise, concentrate on you and be a little selfish about doing what’s best for you, not your husband or kids. Nobody is going to be happy around you if you are not happy yourself.
    5) Finish your divorce crap then try online dating and get yourself back out there!

  22. I would be reluctant to listen to anything anybody says here aside from those advocating your need to seek professional marriage counseling.

  23. Your husband is having multiple affairs and lying about it, and you’re questioning whether you should get a divorce?
    Of course you should. You deserve someone who truly loves you and is committed to you. Your husband isn’t, even though “you have great moments during the weekend together” or whatever you said. He is using you and probably staying for you for convenience.

    1. I think everybody deserves someone great. Unfortunately, not everything stays great forever, nor can everybody find their soulmate.

      1. I agree that not everything stays great forever, but I would argue that both parties need to work on these issues. I would suggest counselling for both of you if you would like to salvage your marriage. That being said, I would not put up with cheating or lying about cheating. My husband and I have been married for 13 years and we have been in counseling twice…once after having kids and once again when we were having other issues, none of which involved cheating. He and I have both been very focal in the past regarding cheating, it is a huge issue that involves much more than just cheating. I hope that by going to counseling that we have avoided cheating in the past. Of course, there is always the future to worry about, but in my case I am not too concerned since we communicate very well. Good luck, but I would think twice about staying in the marriage. It sounds like he is insecure about himself.

        1. Hi Kristy – Do you mind sharing why you two went to counseling? I’ve noticed a lot of couples break up after having kids, so I’m wondering if there is some type of idealized notion of having kids that’s different from reality when the kids finally arrive, and how to improve this. thx

          1. I don’t mind sharing why we went to counseling. My husband and I have a fairly god marriage (If I do say so myself), but after having the second child, we were just not communicating well. Our second child didn’t sleep well and we were both working full time with a three year old as well. He wasn’t “stepping up” to the plate to help out more around the house and I was nursing and tired. He was snapping at me and I was not very nice to him either. We knew we were not communicating and for a short period of time, I did not like him very much. He wanted “something” from me, but I was not getting anything in return. We were not in therapy long, but we both realized that we need to do/be nice to the other one for our marriage. Men and women have different “needs”. I needed a little more romance and help around the house…you can guess what his “needs’ were/still are.

            We were both giving so much to the kids and we were not taking enough time to work on our relationship. We both realized that although the kids are only with us for a short period of time, we still need date nights for our own sanity. Each couple is different and each person’s needs are different in a marriage. I need more time to myself and I get it by waking up at 4:30 or 5 am to run. In conclusion, we realized that we married each other because we loved each other at one point (and we still did), we just needed to find our way back.

            We went through a rough patch last year as well. This time, it’s because we are taking care of young kids AND he is helping his elderly parents who live 3 hours away. Lots of disagreeing and not communicating effectively. It happens, life happens, stress happens. Sometimes couples just need a way to deal with it. Now we have date night every other week typically and I run 4 times a week. He does just as much with the kids and house work as I do and we are a team.

            1. I wanted to say that I think that both of us had in mind what the “ideal” marriage is and sometimes, it just doesn’t happen. I love my kids, but it adds an entirely different dynamic to a relationship. Most of the time life is good, once in a while you hit a rut.

              Feel free to share. Marriage counseling cost us out of pocket about $100 a session. It is not cheap, but was well worth it. I am sure it is more expensive where you are and insurance oftentimes does not cover or only covers a few sessions.

              1. Thanks Kristy. This is kind of a funny suggestion, but something I’ve heard many men joke around before due to movies and stereotypes: How about hiring a nanny if a family can afford it?

                A lot of women I talk to hate the “Swedish nanny” idea, but if the nanny can take care of the house and children while both parents work, surely the relationship could improve, no?

            2. Not a funny suggestion at all! We hired a cleaning lady to clean the house and sometimes we have a lawn service as well. We are fairly frugal, so didn’t want to spend the money on a nanny. Daycare where we are was much cheaper. During this time, I should mention that I was also taking courses for my real estate appraising designation and my personality is that “I” can do it all.

              It took me a year to convince my husband we needed a cleaning lady. haha. She is my life saver….I always say that if we ever have to cut back, she will be the last thing that goes. We eventually worked it out, but sometimes it takes time. I feel that couples sometimes give up too early. There are going to be bumps in the road….you just need to figure out how to deal with them, hopefully together.

            3. “I needed a little more romance and help around the house…you can guess what his “needs’ were/still are.”

              I guess I’m always disappointed that women like to act like sex is something dirty they have to do to manage their little boy husbands.
              So, basically, something that is emotionally fullfilling to a man and is one way we are assured in a monogamous relationship that it isn’t about the kids, or the bills, or the vacation, etc. but is about us and our relationship is to be scorned and mocked, while the woman’s desires are to be paramount in the relationship and the only side worthy of all consideration? Way to respect a partner.

              In the end, most reasonable folks want to be appreciated and respected. Communication is at the heart of it but it really is all about appreciating the other person. That means appreciating that there are different desires and needs driving each individual and respecting, not scorning, those needs (provided the needs are reasonable).

            4. Getagrip,

              I am not sure why you are disappointed in my very honest assessment of our marriage. I never once said that I thought his needs were any less than mine. If you took it that way, I apologize. We were both very tired with two young kids and as you can guess (or maybe you are not married with kids?) we BOTH put each others needs on the back burner. We were fortunate enough to realize what was going on, to seek counseling since were were not communicating OR appreciating each other. It was not a one-sided issue by any means and we were lucky that we both wanted to work on our relationship during a strenuous time in our marriage. Others are not so fortunate, hence the divorce. There will always be issues in marriages, but I have to say that after we learned to communicate better, our marriage has become even better. I love my husband even more now.

  24. Joshua Myers

    It’s never worth staying in a relationship with someone who is lying and cheating. 10 years ago I was engaged to someone who cheated on me multiple with different men. I spent months and years struggling with how to make it work. I regret every minute that I wasted doing that. I’ve never met anyone who left a liar/cheater that ever regretted it for a second, kids or not. You only get one life. Do you want to look back on long life with a cheating spouse? Do you want your kids to know that staying with someone who doesn’t respect you is an acceptable life choice? There are plenty of good people in the world, don’t let one a**hole become a major theme of your life.

  25. I’m sorry, Michelle, to hear about what you are going through. Your post shows that you don’t have much feelings of respect for your husband, given what is going on. Although you mention that he is a good “family man” back at home, maybe he is picking up on your feelings now?

    You have to ask yourself first, would you like the marriage to work out or are you looking to move on? Only you can answer this so take the time you need to arrive at the answer. Your boys will thrive with the love you and their father will give them, don’t let that influence your decision. Also don’t worry about friends and other family and what they will be thinking. This is about you and your husband.

    Once you have decided, do your best to support the decision without second guessing yourself.

    I am sure you will ultimately find peace and happiness with this, once this process is completed.

    Best wishes,


      1. But you mentioned you still have a glimmer of hope… maybe that is just wishful thinking? It sounds like you need to put some distance between both of you first, as in a separation.

        Doesn’t that make sense?


  26. I didn’t need to read past your second paragraph to know that you don’t respect your husband. Whether that’s a result of his (suspected) cheating or if that’s the way it’s always been, regardless, your marriage is probably over. I’ve noticed one successful ingredient in marriages: respect. You must each see the other as an equal – it’s pretty apparent you look down on your husband, and he probably knows it. Again, maybe that’s always the way you’ve felt – if that was the case, it was over before it began.

    You have 2 choices: work it out, or don’t. If you decide to work it out, it probably means breaking down the entire relationship and building it back up. Could be worth it. If you decide not to work it out, then the road is pretty well traveled – I’m sure you can find the information you want pretty easily. I imagine that your husband probably doesn’t even want any of your parent’s money, so that shouldn’t be a factor in your decision. Even if he did, it shouldn’t be a factor. Good luck – the world can be a painful place and it’s too bad you’re feeling it right now.

    1. This is a very interesting perspective. Will a lack of respect from the wife move a husband to go berzerk with other women? Perhaps. Men are weak in the sense they need to feel loved and admired.

      1. Thank you. I’m not saying that any lack of respect, perceived or real, excuses the cheating (or causes it). But I’m sure that it causes a marriage to stop functioning.

  27. Didn’t do such a good job selecting for a daddy, did you Michelle? The imperative for men is great sex, pure and simple. Women, since THEY don’t FEEL that way, can’t fathom that men think of sex so differently. Jim is getting it elsewhere because he probably hasn’t been getting it at home for years.

    Feeling a little ashamed that those who warned you against the bastard from the get-go were right after all? Too bad. Suck it up.

    Divorce is normal, your boys will probably think its cool with two parents competing to give them stuff. And they won’t care about your divorce in the least once they start thinking about their own lives.

    As for you, well, if you were a 42YO fashion model porn star, hubby wouldn’t have strayed. But my guess is that you are fat and otherwise seriously out of shape. Your age doesn’t have to be a negative as you have a few years before menopause closes things down for good, but you probably won’t do what it takes to make things right because you have a kajillion excuses not to.

    Your children are a serious deterrent to any relationship longer than a one-night-stand or for friends-with-benefits. Seriously, why would any man want to raise another man’s children?

    So you might as well not bother shopping for spandex and instead concentrate solely on being a mommy. If you do that well, maybe in a couple of decades you’ll be included with their families at holidays. And learn to love cats.

    And you’ll become a man hater, because your particular man didn’t change his personality and behavior to fulfill your particular (unarticulated, and thus secret) fantasy of what your husband should be like. And so all men are pigs. But if you want to know who’s fault it really is? Look in the mirror. You picked him.

    1. Wow!

      Pretty negative vibes dude! People fall into relationships which don’t work out longterm. That’s just way it is.

      There’s is no point in blaming any parties.

    2. Wow. So all women who have been cheated on must be fat and will become man haters? Or just man haters to men like you?

      Not all men are against dating a woman with children. I am divorced, have two kids, and have a boyfriend who doesn’t have kids who treats my kids like they’re his own.

      I’m guessing you have no idea what Michelle is going through and until you’ve walked a mile in someone else’s shoes you’ve got no clue what you’re talking about. Don’t be so quick to judge.

      1. Ah, you said it twice yourself, “dating” and “boyfriend”. And the good treatment to your children is a necessary strategy to get sex from you. Wake up.

        Then the ad hominem closure.

    3. Amazing. Don’t know what to say, except for you must have no idea what it is to be in love and have everything fall apart on you. Or maybe you do, which is why you have this attitude towards women.

      1. This is about you not me. And again the desperation of an ad hominem diversionary attack.

        You go girl! There, I said it.

    4. Haha wow, what a complete dick! Normally I’d let the comments you made there slide cause you’re simply a keyboard warrior looking for attention probably due to you being a 35 year old dungeons and dragons balding man living in his mum’s basement…

      I know my comments aren’t making me any better but I’ll live with that.. Rather than criticising would you be able to appreciate and have a bit of empathy.. It’s comments like that which turn women into men haters..

      Anyway dude hope you change your attitude to women and life in general, all the best!

      1. Again the ad hominem attack. Can’t you comment on the merits (or lack thereof) of my post?

        I said nothing against women. You confused what goes against the feminine imperative as something misogynistic. Learn the difference and set yourself free!

        1. Okay then, funnily enough had to look up what ad hominem actually meant, shame on me :).. Humour me and let me know your opinion on the difference between the feminine imperative and misogyny?

  28. For quite a while there was an interesting bill board along the Kennedy expressway (Chicago) which stated something to the effect: “Life is short. Get a divorce!”

    I have been there and done that. It’s ok. You’ll survive. And you’ll be a stronger/happier person in the end. It makes no sense to try and force a relationship which is not working.

    And I’m not using prejudice. Marriages just don’t really work well for a huge percentage of the U.S. population. It’s not anyone’s fault. Just move on.

  29. This is a heartbreaking story.
    I wish total restoration of your marriage.

    Reading the beginning of your story you describe your husband and his work
    with little respect for his performance. You also seem a bit more proud of your

    I am certain your husband feels less than, looking through your eyes. You don’t have
    to verbalize these kinds of feelings. They are in the air.

    So, perhaps he is letting other women stroke his ego. Sad way to deal with
    problems I know.

    Going forward, if you choose to stay he needs a new job where he is home every night.
    How else could you trust him again?

    If you want to save your marriage you two need to get to the real issues and, fight
    for your family.

    1. I haven’t accomplished much. I’ve just seen him struggle for the past decade on his career. He was let go during the financial crisis, and then let go again two and a half years later. He’s the one with a complex of insecurity due to his job losses. He likes to spend our money on fancy things, like nice watches and nice cars. He is the stereotypical male who needs to buy nice things to make up for his own self worth.

      1. Michelle,

        If you get behind him and, make him feel like “The Man” that could all change.

        Yet, I am merely going by this one tiny, tiny, slice of your lives together.

        I have been married 30 years. In those years every time I felt things slipping
        I would buy a marriage book. All of the books (many) armed me with
        useful tools to bring new life back into a stale lack luster time of our marriage.

        Hope you save your marriage.

  30. I think you should pull the plug. You are a long time dead.

    Your boys will cope and four those in your circle that are not supportive.

    But don’t listen anything other than your gut. Your heart will never help you make good decisions.

  31. I went through this with an ex girlfriend who cheated. The problem looked like this.

    Problem 1: She cheated and tried to cover it up.
    Cause 1: She lacked the moral compass to see that lying to me about it was wrong
    Cause of lying: Totally messed up childhood, possibly inherent personality traits, partly my fault for overlooking this in the first place.

    I tried to work it out with her. That was the wrong decision, it would have been better for me to completely sever all ties and start over which is what I eventually did. There were too many underlying problems and we had no idea how to fix them. If you go to counselling you will likely have to try to drill down to the root cause of his problems, and might find out he is just a cheating liar at the core. If you’re ready to deal with 1-2 years of counselling essentially going no where (but it could work very well) then that’s the best alternative if you choose to stay IMHO.

    Personally I would leave, cheating isn’t something that generally just happens once. It’s probably something that will continue to happen, how will you ever trust him again? If he has been doing it for this long and covering it up whats to stop him from devising a better system and continue cheating and getting away with it in the future?

    To those who say he was just spreading his seed or some such, that would be fine for a single person but this is about lying, mistrustful behaviour not polyamory, single life etc.

    1. Sorry to hear about your girlfriend. At least you found out the truth early, and she wasn’t your wife. It gets more complicated once there is a legal union.

  32. I am so sorry you are going through this. This is really a personal decision and one you should probably make on your own. I would suggest you talk to a therapist (not just a couples therapist).

    Whatever you choose to do, please make sure it is what YOU want to do and not the result of fear. For what it is worth, your wedding guests probably won’t care as much as you think they will.

    1. Thank you. I was hoping to hear some thoughts from people who’ve been in my shoes before. It looks like a couple people have. And many many more who feel this way, who are too afraid to speak out.

  33. Romeo Jeremiah

    What do you do?

    You definitely don’t ask over 100,000 people who have never lived in your shoes and know both the good AND the bad that you and your husband has gone through. Your head is gonna be racing for sure now. Nevertheless, I hope this is something that you and your husband can work out.

  34. If you stay with your husband, your boys WILL eventually find out about the cheating. How will this affect them, especially if they also discover that you had known about the cheating for years? I don’t know the answer, but it’s something to think about.

    As for your fear of not finding anyone else as a 42 year old woman — that is crazy! There are so many people in the world. It may take some time, but you will find someone else if that’s the route you choose to take.

    1. I have plenty of friends who are in their 40s who haven’t been able to find anybody. It’s sad, and scary as we women grow older. Yes, I need to have the confidence to believe I can find someone. Maybe I’ll try to find someone while I’m still married, just so I can prove that I can, and then leave? But then, that might put my wealth at risk.

      1. I would consider the possibility that you’ve raised the idea of a divorce to mean that you’re already moving in that direction. It bothered me that one of your qualifications was that he might not be ‘consistently’ cheating on you, since even once represents a huge breach of trust that some marriages cannot heal from. I think evaluating your options from a professional’s standpoint, as others have suggested, would be a big help, and confronting him with the prospect of a divorce once your hand is organized would be your best approach. If he accuses you of it being all in your head, then you should suggest marriage counseling and better communication on parameters you can set.

        I live in the DC area, and while I’m younger, have many friends in their 40s who are single (with/without kids), so there are chances to meet new people and start new relationships out there (Meetup seems to be a great venue for connecting with new social groups). Don’t define yourself as a failure, either; the narrative seems to place most of the blame on his actions, and the rationalizing and blame you seem to be putting on yourself seems misplaced Take charge and make the changes you want to see in your life; it’s not worth keeping the status quo if it makes you miserable!

  35. I have 2 children with my husband of over 10 years and he has traveled 2-3 days per week for the past 7 years. He has told me about married co-workers that have taken girls back to their hotel room for the night. We’ve had frank conversations about what would happen if he did the same thing and I found out. It would be over. I would never be able to look at him the same. Would I feel ashamed or feel like I let anyone down? Hell no. He can keep his pants on while I’m working, raising our kids and taking care of all of the obligations he can’t. We have a great marriage so I would be shell shocked if it happened but trust is the foundation of a marriage and without it, it would crumble.

    I would recommend that you see a counselor and a lawyer, by yourself. You can sort out your feelings with the counselor and sort out your finances with the lawyer. If you feel like you want to try to make the marriage work, go to a counselor together. If your husband is such a family man on the weekends, I suspect he will want to stay with you. The question is, will he cheat again?

    You can do this (move through the process of exploring whether or not you can stay with him) because you are stronger than you think you are. You need to do it for yourself now and for yourself in the future and for your boys.

    Sam – to answer your question about divorce after children. Children change a marriage, there is no way around it. You need a solid marriage before kids, because having them won’t make everything better.

    1. I’ve told DH poly is fine if we agree on it FIRST, not when either of us is in the middle of some emotional thing that’s going to lead down the road to cheating. So far, no interest.
      However, if he cheats(agreed upon poly is not cheating, is my point), he’s done. The end. Divorce that guy, the trust he broke he will never get back.

    2. TS, I hope you have a strong relationship, b/c my experience is that nobody can consistently go on business trips for 2-3 days a week for seven years unless there is someone they are anxious to see. It gets lonely traveling. Sorry to be a pessimistic. Ask him to join a long for several trips and see how he reacts.

    3. TS, dont be naive. I was in a similar situation. My husband’s friends are all cheating on heir spouses and my spouse shared that few months ago. We had several discussions that this was not not going to happen to him and not happening to him because we were different and we had a great marriage. Few months later, I found out that he’s been having an affair as well. The outside influence and environment affects their thinking. Just open your eyes, not saying he’s cheating on you too. But if his environment is like that, it’s possible that he is vulnerable to that.

      Infidelity happens even with great marriages.

  36. Michelle, I am so, so sorry. You’ve come to the right place. The FS community will give you ‘tea & sympathy’, and put you straight.

    You are thinking that this is your decision. It is now. But what if you stick it out and he comes home 10 years from now, the inheritance is co-mingled (and likely tapped into), the boys are leaving the next, you are now 52, and you have known all this time about Gary and his crazy ways? Spend the money on lawyers now. Divorce his ass!

    See a lawyer immediately. A female one, who is a vicious ballbuster who hates men. She’ll know what to do, to protect your inheritance and your government pension from this alcoholic philandering deadweight shitbird. She’ll help you get the proof you need to for child support, and nail his balls to the wall so he will be living with roommates and eating macaroni-and-cheese so his garnished paycheck will stretch to rent day. You don’t need a part-time husband and father who you don’t respect, and who doesn’t respect you or his children. Divorce his ass!

    The goal should be to have Gary sleeping in his car, for real. Explaining to his 12-Step group how he got there. Let him explain to the 300 wedding guests how it all fell apart. Then, we’ll just see if those sidedishes text him in the middle of the night.

    Meanwhile, get some childcare, and get yourself to the gym. You need to get that ass tight. Tight! Spend some of that family money on clothes and hot yourself up a little. Get a 24 year-old boytoy, maybe two. The goal here is for Gary to eat his heart out. Lastly, bookmark this post so you can send it to Gary after the divorce is final, and Sam gets more clicks-and-eyeballs. Keeping good thoughts for you Michelle!

    P.S., – FS, this is fantastic, please keep it up in 2015!

    1. JayCeezy, I am scared of “vicious female ballbusters who hate men”!

      Your comment rings true though. I would be very afraid if I were Jim. His name is Jim, not Gary. Was Gary potentially someone who wrong you?

      1. @FS, you think it “rings true”? Why, thank you!:-) re: Gary/Jim – yes, long ago I walked in on Gary in flagrante delecto with my fiancé. It was so unexpected, all I could do was watch in stunned silence. It was the longest hour of my life. By the time I got my wits about me, there was no time to set up a camera. Speaking of “poly”, I once was involved with a woman who suffered from Multiple Personality Disorder; all seventeen of them dumped me. For different reasons. One of them was a “vicious ballbuster who hates men.” On her way out the door, she told me that my “bathing suit area looks like a sparrow’s egg in an eagle’s nest.” Uncalled for!

  37. If you suspected ten years ago, why have you waited so long?

    You don’t need proof to get a divorce.

    What hurts more, the cheating or the lying?

    You need the help of a professional.

    Also, your inheritance may not be at risk, depending on your state, and whether you comingled it with your spouses money.

    1. I don’t have concrete proof. I’ve already confronted him. So, a sliver of me has hope he is telling the truth even though I believe he is lying.

      Have you never suspected your wife of making a fib and you thinking otherwise?

  38. Before getting married to a wonderful woman, I was “dating” a woman when we were in our early 20’s. She was in a very unhappy young marriage with no kids. She approached me and PROMISED she was planning to leave her husband. Oh, the turmoil and stress everyone endured. Then I found out she had been cheating on me too. Fast forward over three decades and I since found out the first woman had two kids, got divorced, then married another man. What did I learn? Like they say, actions speak louder than words. Trust your instincts. People’s behavior seldom change their patterns. I know I could never trust someone with the behavior traits you mentioned. Good luck in your decision!

  39. Alex Reichel

    I don’t walk in your shoes but read between the lines who much the situation has been hurting you. Seems your hubby is a serial cheater and you only have two options.
    Decide to have an open relationship (would never work for me and also probably not for most people).
    You seem to feel humiliated and should end this marriage before it breaks you despite of all the consequences. You don’t serioulsy want to hold on to a relationship because you had 300 guests on your wedding?

    1. Yes, humiliated for me, for my children, and for my friends and parents who supported me in this relationship.

      Have you been married before? The day of the marriage is a happy, stressful, convoluted time all in one. When you’ve sunk so much time and money into the wedding itself, and the marriage, it’s hard to not keep hope.

  40. Michelle I’m so sorry. I’m sorriest that you feel that you will be letting people down by standing up for decent and humane treatment for yourself.
    1. There is no marriage. He is continually lying to you, he’s not around anyway
    2. You are already alone, in all but the public face.
    3. Your friends and family want for you to be HAPPY, not for you to stay in a miserable position. All those wedding guests from 15 years ago either don’t care if you stay married or care about you and want you to get out of this situation. You don’t have to tell the boys anything of the kind, in fact you shouldn’t. Why are you getting divorced? Mommy and Daddy both love you so much, but we don’t want to be married to each other anymore. But we will always love you, and will always be your parents. Period. Don’t talk to them about why – they will learn and figure things out more as they get older. His behavior will make it obvious.
    4. Not consistently cheating on you? How much is alright if he doesn’t feel it’s relevant to talk about?
    5. Why do you think it will be contentious? Maybe he’ll be so relieved to avoid a fight with you that he’ll be very cooperative?
    6. Why do you think his parents won’t be willing to help with the kids? If they are good with them, and love them, I think they’d still want access to them which would give you options – also how old are they? Eventually they don’t need so much help or supervision either.
    7. you are a working mother of three – you’re already capable of handling all those scary things on your own. It will be hard at first, but you can do it.

    For starters, I think you need to make a couple of appointments. First with a therapist, second with a divorce lawyer. Talk about how you feel and ask for help in finding the answers and getting rid of the cloudy mess of insecurity in your head. This will be ongoing. Talk to the lawyer, ask what you’d be entitled to, or what he’d be entitled to, and what you would likely get from mediation etc. I will tell you that you should be snapping screen shot of things like those texts, documenting everything in a journal of some sort in a ‘current’ way [with dates etc that things happened] because it will all help you in court.

    As a, ‘here’s why I think so’ comment, I will tell you that you’ll certainly never meet someone who will be good for you when you’re still in this marriage. And that being alone and doing what you want and knowing where you stand is far better than feeling crummy all the time and being utterly alone because you’re hiding it from the world. I am in the midst of a not very contentious separation and divorce. No cheating – just a real problem with stability from a troubled man. And he’s the one who wants it – though we’ve been separated for several years and he’s here every moment he’s not working or sleeping. But I’m glad we’re moving forward because then I’ll have the security of the agreement should he flip out and stop being a nice guy, like he stopped being a husband years ago. And I don’t want to be alone either, but it’s been better to be alone and not feel like I have to constantly monitor him, take his temperature, coddle his issues and pretend around the kids and friends and family than it was before he left.

    I’m 50, I can’t imagine finding someone else – I still am in love with this man. But there’s no way out but through.

    I’m not saying you should get a divorce. I’m saying the current situation is not something that should stand. You need ammunition if you think there will be a fight – there may never be, but you can’t manufacture it after the fact. You need some counseling to help you find your way – what’s right for YOU. Your children will handle it as well as you do – get the help now so you can make it ok for them later, no matter what. For all you know HE may be doing all these things, planning to get a divorce. Be prepared – he may be getting more blatant just to spur you to be the one to start this process.

    I’m sorry, again, that you’re in this situation. I’ll be thinking of you and wishing you all the best.

    1. CL,

      You write, “But I’m glad we’re moving forward because then I’ll have the security of the agreement should he flip out and stop being a nice guy, like he stopped being a husband years ago. And I don’t want to be alone either, but it’s been better to be alone and not feel like I have to constantly monitor him, take his temperature, coddle his issues and pretend around the kids and friends and family than it was before he left.”

      I think this is a very courageous step, and something probably all of us fear: being alone. I can’t imagine living life alone after so many years together with a loved one. It’s like how one swan dies soon after the other.

  41. I think you have several other options:

    1) Marriage counseling: It is important that you try this route for the sake of your sons. If it doesn’t work out, then hey your tried.

    2) Polyamory: This is very unconventional but it can work for some couples.

    I wouldn’t worry about letting anybody but your sons down. Think long and hard about what lessons you want to teach them. Do you want them to think their father’s marriage infidelity is perfectly acceptable as they get older?

    1. I must strongly object to your second point bringing up Polyamory.

      Polyamory is hardly a solution to cheating. Real polyamory is an agreement between the partners involved with a clear understanding of limits and set of rules. And the agreement must be made before one or both meet other people.

      If he is really cheating, negotiating such a deal after the fact is not polyamory. It is just slapping a different label on a messed-up situation to avoid dealing with the issues.

      True polyamory requires a great amount of trust and open communication between all involved, not sneaking around and cheating on the other person.

      Based on what she describes, the trust has long been destroyed.

      Agree on the first point, though.

    2. I pretty much think rjack hit it on the head.

      Look. Sometimes guys wanna spread their seed. Are you making it frisky for him at home? I would bet half your salary that you clammed up on him between child two and three. I am not saying he’s perfect. Sounds like a bozo to me.

      1. Wow, what a terrible comment, justifying cheating on guys wanting to spread their seeds.. I’m a guy myself and certainly not a prude but when you have a couple of kids and a long term marriage, wouldn’t you owe it to both to discuss rather than “spreading their seed”.. As you say the guy does sound like a bozo and there may be faults on both sides (usually is) but not sure that excuses cheating when in a marriage..

        Moral of the story is that it comes down to communication and talking it through as opposed to going out and sleeping with potentially strangers, that really helps no-one in this situation..

        I’d say it’s not an easy situation, have you considered calling the number of these mystery ladies and seeing what they say, not directly accusing but even asking them how they know your husband, getting it straight from the people may help make your decision at least based on what has probably happened..

        Hope either way it works out for the best!

        1. Someone close to me is going through a divorce because of issues related to prostitution. I have never cheated on my wife and don’t plan on it. I would be devastated if the tables were turned. Trust is tantamount.

          But, I think we’d be lying to ourselves if we denied that men may stray if unsatisfied. Of course, the lack of satisfaction could be emotional or some other base need. And, it can go both ways. But, I would guess that men are more likely to stray.

          1. Fair enough, better way of wording your comment there however the first comments you came out with made you sound like a chauvinist.. While I’m all for men not being castigated and being able to have an equal say, justifying cheating as a result of her not “giving it up” is a bit weak if you ask me.. Instead what is it that he could do i.e. bring home some flowers, ask her how her day was etc, which may result in their being more romance.. Maybe I’m being a bit naive here but I’m sure that a marriage is hard work for both parties

    3. I have yet to hear of a polyamorous relationship that worked with kids in the picture. And till the end of a couple’s life.

      1. I knew a couple that seemed to get along really well until the gf got pregnant and they split shortly thereafter. I had no idea until later that they were in a poly relationship, but a lot more made sense about them after I found that out. I don’t know what happened to her after she had her son, but the bf kept his ways with poly and they just shared custody of their son. Kids would definitely complicate things with that type of relationship.

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