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Re: I finally found out about some of his affairs [Re: too trusting] #2323037
02/17/13 01:38 PM
02/17/13 01:38 PM
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Starsky309 Offline
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Originally Posted By: too trusting
since I last wrote, H and I have had ups and downs. sometimes he is “nice” to me (e.g. if I pretend nothing has happened in the past, and don’t ask him about it, we can have good times together). and sometimes he is just not nice to me. sometimes he can be reassuring and sometimes just hurtful for no reason.

the problem is, I still don’t know whether I can trust him. he says he is not seeing any other women – but he also said that in the past, when he was actively having multiple affairs. so how can I know if he is telling the truth now?

he still refuses adamantly to answer my questions about the past. I haven’t pressured him about it, because I realize this is a sensitive point with him. (some of what he did with the OW’s was apparently “kinky sex” and he is embarrassed to talk about it. or at least that is what he says. anyway I am not pressuring him on that for now.)

instead I have tried to concentrate on at least getting empathy from him – with mixed results. again, sometimes he will be reassuring, and sometimes say things that are very hurtful.

last week we finally had a conversation about what I am feeling, and he said some nice, encouraging things. I want to be reassured by this, and I want to be able to trust him, but how can I be sure about it when he is away from home so much and has so many opportunities? since he travels for his work, there is no way for me to know (short of hiring a PI) if he is spending the weekend alone or with a “guest”.

while thinking about this, I went back and looked at one of the IM conversations we had in the summer of 2011, soon after I found the old letters from several OW’s. here are some of the things he said at that time:

“I am more than happy to share my life with you.”

“I am really willing to cooperate with you to rebuild the trust between us.”

“I also want to fix our marriage. I love you and I respect you.”

“I am willing to share with you more about myself.”

“I want us to go on into old age together.”

“I really want to do my share to put this stuff behind us.”

when I wrote "I am willing to forgive the past, as long as I know that it is all in the past and not continuing”, he replied "Yes. Just in the past."

so that’s reassuring, right?

the problem is, I later found out that when he wrote those nice things, one of the OW’s was right there in his RV spending the weekend with him.

even though I have access to his email account and cell phone records, he could easily have one (or more!) email accounts and cell phones that I don’t know about.

so how could I possibly know if I can now trust him?



Originally Posted By: Starsky309, on 5/16/2012
TT,

I must admit, I only got about halfway thru your long post, but I think I pretty much got the gist of it:

Your husband is a serial adulterer, and refuses to end this behavior and be fully transparent with you (at least without you hounding him about it).

The question is, what are you going to do about it? What are you WILLING to do about it? You do realize that his current attitude about it all is because he's pretty much been able to return to the marriage each time in the past, without any real consequences from you, don't you? I mean, you'd cry or get angry or beg or plead, but I'm not seeing where there's ever been any real meaningful consequences for his destructive behavior. Because of that -- and because he's probably a narcissist personality to begin with -- he's developed a VERY strong sense of entitlement and even INVINCIBILITY, and I highly doubt he even thinks he's in danger of losing anything meaningful to him at this point.


What ARE your true, core dealbreakers?
-- your "N.U.T.S." as it were? I like to call them "My Boundaries of Personal Integrity," and with most married people, one of them is "I will not live in an open marriage," or "I refuse to share my husband" or "I refuse to make a priority someone who treats me like a convenience," etc.

Without these, you will find yourself adrift, like the proverbial "frog in the pot of boiling water" story, and then suddenly you wake up, look back at your life, and say to yourself "What was I THINKING???"

Put another way, would you have even CONSIDERED marrying a man like this, if you knew he was capable of this? Now that you ARE married to him, why should you tolerate it now?


Starsky


I would point you back to this, from last year, TT. Did you ever do any serious thinking about this? This is a great example about how such a framework could help you, because either "I need him to be open with me about the past affairs, and he won't" is a dealbreaker for you, or it's not. In my experience, some betrayed spouses need to hear these kinds of details while some do not, but those that DO usually really DO need it before they can feel safe in the relationship again and begin to heal.

Find your non-negotiatable core values, and everything else will flow from those.


Starsky


M57 W 57; D30 D28 S24 S20 GD7 GD2 GD1 GD5m GD1m
BD 5/07; W's affair 5/07-8/07

At the end of every hard-earned day, people gotta find some reason to believe. (Bruce Springsteen)
Re: I finally found out about some of his affairs [Re: Starsky309] #2323065
02/17/13 04:23 PM
02/17/13 04:23 PM
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too trusting Offline OP
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too trusting  Offline OP
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Starsky, I haven't ignored your previous advice - in fact, I have thought about it frequently.

I would *prefer* if he would be willing to answer my questions - not just to "satisfy my curiosity" but as a sign of remorse. because previously, the OW’s knew all about me and I knew nothing about them; and therefore he can show that it is really all over by exposing them. like the “walls and windows” principle in “Not Just Friends”.

however, I realize this is a sensitive point for him. he doesn’t want to expose them because he doesn’t want to expose himself. so I am willing to hold off on that for now, and to hope that at a future time he would be more open about it. this in itself is not a "deal-breaker" for me. it is more of an item on my wish-list.

I also want him to be kind and empathetic towards me, but I realize that this is also something that needs to be built over time. so that is a “wish-list” item, not a “deal-breaker” right now. I wouldn't wait with this forever, but am willing to wait temporarily.

the deal-breaker would be: if I would find out that he is continuing to see other women. right now I just have suspicions, and I don't know if it is a "gut feeling that I should pay attention to" or if it is simply "hypervigilance".

I don't have anything concrete – just bits and pieces that might not mean anything. e.g. a few weeks ago I came up behind him when he was sitting with his ipad in the evening, and he was furious. I didn't see anything on his screen - he was just playing solitaire, I didn't see any IM windows disappearing, but why was he so angry? he said it was because I startled him by approaching so quietly. but it reminded me of times in the past when he would quickly close an IM window on his computer (and be angry at me for approaching quietly) when I came into the room.

in December, when he was home most of the time, he was "not-nice" to me a lot of the time - and not because of anything I did. it gave me a feeling that he was angry at me for taking away his candy jar. or that the anger might even be a reaction (or smokescreen) for him needing to hide things from me. again, no evidence, just my own suspicions from being burnt in the past.

on the other hand, even when he is "nice" and reassuring towards me, he could still be seeing other women - as in the example I gave in my earlier post today.

this past week was really stressful for me, because it would have been an ideal opportunity for him if he were still seeing other women. it was a week between job locations when he was travelling from one job to another, but didn't have a *lot* of travelling to do. also it included V-day, and is followed by a federal holiday (long weekend). so, ideal opportunity, but no evidence of anything actually happening. of course, in the past, when he was actively conducting multiple affairs, there was usually never any evidence either.

so I just don't know. if my “deal-breaker” is to know that he is not having any further affairs, how can it be a "deal-breaker" for me if I have no way to verify whether anything is going on?

and that brings me back to my first question: how can I tell if anything is going on?

yes, “believe nothing they say and only half of what they do.” great. how do I know when I can stop doing that and allow myself to trust him again?

otherwise I feel that all my DB efforts are just building a sand castle.


Me: 60 H: 63
married 40, together 42
3 grown kids
Re: I finally found out about some of his affairs [Re: too trusting] #2323074
02/17/13 05:22 PM
02/17/13 05:22 PM
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Let me get this straight.

He won't discuss HIS infidelity with you because it makes HIM uncomfortable?

Do you see the problem with this?

He cheats repetitively, without an ounce of thought to your comfort.

Now (supposedly) he's stopped doing that, and you need him to discuss his behavior in order for YOU to heal.

He refuses to discuss this, because it's too uncomfortable... for HIM.

Do you see the problem with this picture?

All he cares about is how comfortable HE is.

If he gets uncomfortable, he cheats on you.

If you get uncomfortable, you just have to suck it up?

Come on...

Re: I finally found out about some of his affairs [Re: too trusting] #2323142
02/18/13 02:10 AM
02/18/13 02:10 AM
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25yearsmlc Offline
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Oh TT,

this is a sad situation indeed. I hear you when you say you don't want to throw away a 40 y/marriage. And that at times, things are decent between you.

But sweetie, he was a serial cheater, and continued to cheat even when saying he was not any more.

I ASSUME/LIKE TO THINK he's cut down on it, but truly, I think he'd be totally transparent now if all the OWs were gone.

And the lack of empathy, the inconsistent concerns about YOU and his inconsistent treatment of you are signs that he's also quite self centered.

If you "resist" or want anything from him beyond what HE feels like giving, he blames you or lashes out and says you "stay in the past", which is the defense an unrepentant man uses.

I see the gesture of going to the eclipse as a gesture...

Look TT, SOME women and a few men are willing to tolerate continuous affairs as long as the affairs are not in their face.

I'm not one of those people but they exist. I won't judge you if you are one of those women, but I think if you are, do it with your eyes open. Own it.

I say this b/c I think you're telling us in effect, you have little chance of "getting him to stop" and you have almost no chance of KNOWING if he has stopped (b/c he won't be transparent).

So really the issue to ME is whether living like this is alright with you...or "alright ENOUGH" to go on, taking the good times for what they are, and pretending he's deployed to Afghanistan when he's not at home...

I won't tell you what to do or not to do. But I hope you'll see a lawyer JUST IN CASE he meets an OW who would like to live with him or for whom he has stronger feelings...

or to see if marital funds are safe. What would happen to you, financially,

if you divorced?

Can you at least protect yourself or get some knowledge from a legal consult?

You do NOT have to tell your h of this. But knowledge is power. I found that knowing my rights was empowering

and then I didn't feel "trapped" in my m.

But I CHOSE to stay married -for a time- for the kids, and then after MY awakening, things got better. My h had an awakening of his own.

IF things did not improve, fast, I'd never have reconciled.

You have some tough choices to make TT. I don't think the choices are as complicated as you're making them out to be, but they are still quite difficult choices to make. I really feel for you.

Good luck


M: 57 H: 60
M: 35 yrs
S30,D28,D19
H off to Alaska 2006
Recon 7/07- 8/08
*2016*
X = "ALASKA 2.0"
GROUND HOG DAY
I File D 10/16
OW
DIV 2/26/2018
X marries OW 5/2016

= CLOSURE 4 ME
Embrace the Change
Re: I finally found out about some of his affairs [Re: 25yearsmlc] #2323146
02/18/13 02:24 AM
02/18/13 02:24 AM
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Starsky309 Offline
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Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc
Oh TT,

this is a sad situation indeed. I hear you when you say you don't want to throw away a 40 y/marriage. And that at times, things are decent between you.

But sweetie, he was a serial cheater, and continued to cheat even when saying he was not any more.

I ASSUME/LIKE TO THINK he's cut down on it, but truly, I think he'd be totally transparent now if all the OWs were gone.

And the lack of empathy, the inconsistent concerns about YOU and his inconsistent treatment of you are signs that he's also quite self centered.

If you "resist" or want anything from him beyond what HE feels like giving, he blames you or lashes out and says you "stay in the past", which is the defense an unrepentant man uses.

I see the gesture of going to the eclipse as a gesture...

Look TT, SOME women and a few men are willing to tolerate continuous affairs as long as the affairs are not in their face.

I'm not one of those people but they exist. I won't judge you if you are one of those women, but I think if you are, do it with your eyes open. Own it.

I say this b/c I think you're telling us in effect, you have little chance of "getting him to stop" and you have almost no chance of KNOWING if he has stopped (b/c he won't be transparent).

So really the issue to ME is whether living like this is alright with you...or "alright ENOUGH" to go on, taking the good times for what they are, and pretending he's deployed to Afghanistan when he's not at home...

I won't tell you what to do or not to do. But I hope you'll see a lawyer JUST IN CASE he meets an OW who would like to live with him or for whom he has stronger feelings...

or to see if marital funds are safe. What would happen to you, financially,

if you divorced?

Can you at least protect yourself or get some knowledge from a legal consult?

You do NOT have to tell your h of this. But knowledge is power. I found that knowing my rights was empowering

and then I didn't feel "trapped" in my m.

But I CHOSE to stay married -for a time- for the kids, and then after MY awakening, things got better. My h had an awakening of his own.

IF things did not improve, fast, I'd never have reconciled.

You have some tough choices to make TT. I don't think the choices are as complicated as you're making them out to be, but they are still quite difficult choices to make. I really feel for you.

Good luck



Great post.


whistle whistle whistle whistle


Starsky


M57 W 57; D30 D28 S24 S20 GD7 GD2 GD1 GD5m GD1m
BD 5/07; W's affair 5/07-8/07

At the end of every hard-earned day, people gotta find some reason to believe. (Bruce Springsteen)
Re: I finally found out about some of his affairs [Re: Starsky309] #2323150
02/18/13 04:03 AM
02/18/13 04:03 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
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too trusting Offline OP
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too trusting  Offline OP
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25mlc, I appreciate your input.

It’s not that I “don’t mind if I don’t know about it”. It’s the exact opposite. I don’t want to be deceived. I feel so stupid for having been so easily deceived in the past.

On the other hand, it is certainly possible that he is being faithful now. He claims that he gave up all the other women “cold turkey” about a year ago, after he showed me his emails; and it is certainly possible that he is telling the truth. Based on other things (e.g. his ability to drastically change his diet when he needed to lower cholesterol), I am sure that giving up his infidelities “cold turkey” is something that he is capable of doing, if he wants to. The question is – does he want to? I don’t know. And I don’t know how to find out if he is now faithful or not. Maybe I am just being “hypervigilant”. Or maybe not. I feel paranoid if I suspect him and stupid if I don’t. But the most important thing for me right now would be – to have some way to *know* one way or the other.

As I said previously, if I would find out that he is continuing to see other women, that would be the dealbreaker for me now. The question is, dealbreaker in what way? I don’t see any advantage for me right now in getting divorced. I would be alone; he would have no lack of companionship. (I have cousins who divorced and remarried, at a much younger age, and each new husband was 10 years older than the previous one.) So I would simply be taking everything I have worked for over the past 40 years, and handing it to another woman on a silver platter. No point in doing that.

But I would make changes – I would not continue to be there for him as I have been till now. I do a lot of supportive things for him, and I would stop doing those things. I feel really stupid for having been supportive towards him all these years when he was doing these things behind my back.

I am pretty sure he would not want a divorce, because then the whole story would come out. For all these years, besides being a devoted wife and partner/co-worker in our business, I have also been his “cover story”, enabling him to be respected in our extended family and our community. So if I have any leverage, this is it. (Of course I would not use this as a threat, because I want him to stay with me and be faithful to me because he wants to – not because I can threaten him. But it is an important thing to know - that divorce is not advantageous for him either.)

Financially – I am totally dependent on him. My “career” has been to raise our family and to promote his career, rather than building up an independent career for myself; and at this point in my life, I would not be able to support myself on my own. Our kids are grown and self-supporting, but I am now responsible for my mother, who needs full-time care. (She has a live-in caregiver, who is much stronger than I am, and is able to do all the things my mother needs. But it’s expensive.) Fortunately my husband has taken full responsibility for my mother’s upkeep; but it is another way that I am dependent on him.

I should probably speak to an attorney as you suggest, just to know what my rights are. How would I go about finding a good one confidentially? I don’t have anyone I could ask, and I hesitate to pick one at random from the yellow pages.

Thanks for your help.


Me: 60 H: 63
married 40, together 42
3 grown kids
Re: I finally found out about some of his affairs [Re: too trusting] #2323287
02/18/13 07:42 PM
02/18/13 07:42 PM
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25yearsmlc Offline
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Originally Posted By: too trusting
25mlc, I appreciate your input.

It’s not that I “don’t mind if I don’t know about it”. It’s the exact opposite. I don’t want to be deceived. I feel so stupid for having been so easily deceived in the past.

The only way I know of, to KNOW if a spouse is cheating or being faithful, is to hire a private detective to follow him around or investigate the emails and other ways of communicating.

Normally I would not support doing this, but if further deceit is a dealbreaker, then I am supportive of it b/c it would change your approach/course of action (in other cases, when the LBS wants to stay regardless of OP and work on themselves, I often wonder about the reason for snooping. In your case, it might make sense).


On the other hand, it is certainly possible that he is being faithful now. He claims that he gave up all the other women “cold turkey” about a year ago, after he showed me his emails; and it is certainly possible that he is telling the truth. Based on other things (e.g. his ability to drastically change his diet when he needed to lower cholesterol), I am sure that giving up his infidelities “cold turkey” is something that he is capable of doing, if he wants to. The question is – does he want to? I don’t know. And I don’t know how to find out if he is now faithful or not. Maybe I am just being “hypervigilant”. Or maybe not. I feel paranoid if I suspect him and stupid if I don’t. But the most important thing for me right now would be – to have some way to *know* one way or the other.

I understand this^^^ but I don't believe you're "paranoid" at all, given the lengthy history and number of affairs you are aware of. If he thinks it's paranoid, that's just a self serving lack of empathy, imo.


As I said previously, if I would find out that he is continuing to see other women, that would be the dealbreaker for me now. The question is, dealbreaker in what way?


Your use of "dealbreaker" is unusual. For ME, dealbreaker means the end of the marriage. (Not saying that makes me "right", but different). If I hear you correctly, for YOU, "dealbreaker" means changing how you react to him. And probably how you view him and integrity, his honesty, etc.



I don’t see any advantage for me right now in getting divorced. I would be alone; he would have no lack of companionship. (I have cousins who divorced and remarried, at a much younger age, and each new husband was 10 years older than the previous one.) So I would simply be taking everything I have worked for over the past 40 years, and handing it to another woman on a silver platter. No point in doing that.


OKAY HERE WE HAVE IT^^...the answer is here in your own words....

To me, you're saying, in effect, that no matter what HE does to you or behind your back, you will stay married to him. I mean, short of physically abusing you, this is accurate, correct?

AND BTW, who said you'd be alone? You are not alone when he's gone, are you? What's with that fear based choice making of yours? And you assume that any/all OWs would marry him AND that they would be happy?

And that if they are happy that means what about YOU? Please read up on detachment. HIS happiness is not relevant to yours if you divorce.

But I'm reading that you'll stay married to him pretty much no matter what...that's what I'm reading TT. You tell me if I have it right or misunderstand

(or if it's just too scary to see that^^ in writing).

But It's true, isn't it? He can do anything he wants with OWs and you'll stay with him...right?




But I would make changes – I would not continue to be there for him as I have been till now. I do a lot of supportive things for him, and I would stop doing those things. I feel really stupid for having been supportive towards him all these years when he was doing these things behind my back.


Can you give me three+ examples of how you would treat him differently?

Be as specific as possible please.


I am pretty sure he would not want a divorce, because then the whole story would come out.


So his shame could keep him with you, at least for appearances sake? How would that feel to you?
Do you see ANY cost to you for this? I'm not referring to the tangibles, but the intangibles.

And btw, just b/c another woman you know (or a few) did not remarry men their age, is not an index for you to expect the same. Are they happy? I have no idea what you look like or how physically active you are, but you sound like an interesting, kind intelligent woman who is active. That's cool to me.

I guess my point is that who cares if HE could find another woman even younger, (especially if he already is having them)?


I mean, why does that factor in to your choice about how to live your life? Part of detachment will be when you no longer care what HE does or who he is with, if you live your life apart. If he were to marry Christi Brinkley, I can see why an ex wife would feel a tad insecure---unless she is happy on her own. But let's look at 2 other scenarios. One, he marries an OW who appears for all intents and purposes to be a "loser". She's over weight and not attractive, she smokes and has tattoos...yet he chooses her.

wouldn't that also make you feel bad? (So you see, either way, what HE chooses can make you feel lousy if you let it.)

OTOH, what happens if YOU find a man who treats you well? A man who sees your gifts as important or interesting (maybe an astronomy guy) and is attracted to you...and faithful to you? What about that possibility?

Can you see that you give up any chance for finding that, by staying with a man who is cheating on you and probably will for as long as he is physically capable (assuming it's happening)? And what about that? The blue pill issue...

Are you hoping that when he's no longer able to cheat, (I have no idea if an 80 y/o can use them or if there are restrictions other than cardiac ones) THEN he'll be faithful b/c he has no choice? Like a waiting game...but then, how would you know if he was telling the truth and not simply giving it out elsewhere?

I don't say these things to hurt you. I say these things to explore the possible outcomes of your path if you accept his infidelities, which you seem willing to do.

I don't know if you can do that as well as you are pretending here. If you could, then the deceit would be less important. In fact you would not want to know, if it were something you could overlook.

Do you see my point? I worry that by staying married to him, IF he's still cheating, (or is in some 'gray area' like Bill Clinton--gray to HIM, that is)

it'll eat away at you and eventually, a piece of you will die inside. I hope I'm not merely projecting. I think I'm being honest.

For my situation, I know I could live well enough on what I'd have in the event of a divorce, to be fine. Sure, my h is an MD and some OW would "benefit" but on the whole, given our children and what I think I'd find out there, I don't see him as coming out the "winner" but then again, I would not care.

All that would matter is how I was living MY NEW life...b/c I'd definitely be able to detach from a man who repeatedly breaks vows and isn't repentant and won't be faithful...

If your h is still cheating or on the market for a new OW, that means by its nature, that he's not repentant. Nor is he sorry for hurting you "from this day forward."

How would you see him then?

OTOH if he is being faithful, then at some point, you'll have to stop worrying about it. Can't hold it over his head or throw it in his face when you fight.

However, the way you described his behavior, it sounds as if he never really "got it" as to how hurt you were.

Were there any tears on his end? Any genuine signs of true remorse? Not at getting caught, but b/c of hurting you?

The way he treated you in December is revealing to me...and deeply disturbing b/c it answers most of these^^ questions...

And please, please know this.
If he's happy, that does not equate to him "winning" or you "losing." By the same token, if you are unhappy, that proves nothing about HIM.

The index of happiness/misery for you two would be separate. You need to see this clearly. You seem to think if he finds someone (anyone) then you are the loser.

But if he's a cheater, he'll cheat on the next one too.

Case in point.--My uncle left my aunt for OW#1 decades ago. It crushed my aunt for a few years, but she GAL big time, and has an innately positive attitude about life. That's attractive.

She remarried a man who really "got her" and she was happy w/him. He helped her raise her kids as her ex h, the uncle, lived overseas and was not very involved.

Though her 2nd h died early/suddenly, she grieved but again remarried. She's again in a healthy m, and btw, both her 2nd and 3rd h's were younger than she is -by a decade. She's out going, happy and very active physically.

My main point however was this---8 years after her ex h had married his OW, the OW called my aunt to see if uncle (the OWs' h) was over at my aunt's house...So you see, yes, he was still cheating, even on his "new" w. (& God only knows what it took for OW/(aka the new w) to call MY AUNT, the woman uncle had left for her!!...)

At that moment, my aunt said "a weight was lifted off my shoulders. No more sick to the stomach feelings and worrying about where he was or why he was late again...I finally saw that he'd done me a favor by leaving". And she was right.




For all these years, besides being a devoted wife and partner/co-worker in our business, I have also been his “cover story”, enabling him to be respected in our extended family and our community. So if I have any leverage, this is it. (Of course I would not use this as a threat, because I want him to stay with me and be faithful to me because he wants to – not because I can threaten him. But it is an important thing to know - that divorce is not advantageous for him either.)

So you think either he's going to "fall in love" again and not cheat b/c...why? I mean, my GUESS (and it's only that) is that he likes the "falling" part. He craves the attention and intensity of the newness, which he can't get with you b/c he knows you are always going to be there for him. No challenge. No "hunt".

OR

You think shame will be effective as a way to keep him, yet you also don't want to admit that to him or be seen as threatening exposure?

I don't know about that being effective. A Russian author once wrote, "when a man feels guilt, long enough, he attacks". I think there's some truth to that. If they don't get forgiven and allowed to drop the issue, (and that takes humility & effort on their end, to process BEFORE you can just "drop it")

then they tend to resent the party they blame for their guilt. IT's not the OW they blame. (I think this also applies to women, btw). Maybe One can only handle guilt for a certain amount of time.

You either work through it and earn the trust of your loved ones, or you give up and become bitter and blame them. (To be fair, there are some LBSers who make it too hard for the WAS to come home & regain trust. The LBS SAYS "come home" but It's as if they want to punish the wayward spouse more. For those couples, esp with kids, I think it would make more sense to just split up. To me, The worst possible choice to make, is to stay married AND stay miserable)...

I do not think you should make it harder for him to regain your trust, (b/c you need to keep the road home, paved and smooth)

but at this point, he's doing virtually nothing to earn it. He appears to EXPECT you to believe him...as if he's never lied before. That's not realistic or fair or loving, imo.

Financially – I am totally dependent on him. My “career” has been to raise our family and to promote his career, rather than building up an independent career for myself; and at this point in my life, I would not be able to support myself on my own.

That's not true if you are in the USA. You clearly need to see a divorce attorney. Every state has either "equitable division" Or is community property. Both ways you'd get about half of what you two have acquired during the marriage. For life... Yes I'm a L ---but rather than pretend to give you legal advice here, let me repeat my earlier request. SEE A LAWYER to know your rights.



Our kids are grown and self-supporting, but I am now responsible for my mother, who needs full-time care. (She has a live-in caregiver, who is much stronger than I am, and is able to do all the things my mother needs. But it’s expensive.) Fortunately my husband has taken full responsibility for my mother’s upkeep; but it is another way that I am dependent on him.

I should probably speak to an attorney as you suggest, just to know what my rights are. How would I go about finding a good one confidentially? I don’t have anyone I could ask, and I hesitate to pick one at random from the yellow pages.

Thanks for your help.


Yes you need to see a lawyer. You have a lot of fears about asking someone if they know a good attorney. My first suggestion would be to ask a divorced friend (male or female) if they had a good/bad or fair experience with their divorce attorney.

If you won't do that, which I highly recommend, then you need to find someone who does "Family law" primarily or exclusively. Not as part of an overall 20 types of law, but their main source of business. You want a specialist.

Frankly, your property division does not sound complex b/c there's no child support and the marriage is so long there's no argument that he would not have to pay support and divide assets equitably.

The only wrinkle is your mom's care, which 1) is negotiable. Let's face it, if your h is half as concerned about his image as you say, then you have some unspoken weapons in your arsenal that might pressure your h to continue his promise to support her and

2) no offense, but your mom's condition is not permanent. He won't be forever obligated. My mom is 91 and I love her very much. But I know her time is limited.

See a lawyer asap.

Stop feeling trapped and please read about detachment so that you won't care who he ends up with if it's not you.

If he really truly were happier with some OW, then fine, let him go be "happy" with her. At least it'd be out in the open, and the cards would fall where they fall.

I think he'd look like a cliche, and he'd cheat on her OR she'd demand so much "transparency" that he'd find it confining.

You have to respect/love yourself enough to realize what HE'D lose, not what you would lose. (And don't forget what you'd gain).

IF you two divorced, what would YOU really lose? You'd divorce him only if he's cheating so that means

you'd lose A man who cheats and lies and pretends to be someone he's not, and who is usuallyself centered and even unkind to you, for no reason other than his guilt.

For a moment, assume that you'd be fine financially, even if divorced.
Assume that you'd only have your expenses, that you'd do perfectly well in a slightly smaller home OR that you'd get the home...just for a minute, assume you'd have enough to live well.

NOW how do you see your marital situation?


And what if he is still cheating? Then what?


1) You want to KNOW he's being faithful, and

2) if not, then you would want out. IF this is true, then what keeps you with him is the chance that he's being faithful, and financial fears.

So address those two^^ concerns. That is where your focus ought to be, AND on creating a new happier life without him, which you can do b/c he's been gone a lot over the years.

You know how to be happy without him. Keep doing that.


M: 57 H: 60
M: 35 yrs
S30,D28,D19
H off to Alaska 2006
Recon 7/07- 8/08
*2016*
X = "ALASKA 2.0"
GROUND HOG DAY
I File D 10/16
OW
DIV 2/26/2018
X marries OW 5/2016

= CLOSURE 4 ME
Embrace the Change
Re: I finally found out about some of his affairs [Re: 25yearsmlc] #2323297
02/18/13 08:11 PM
02/18/13 08:11 PM
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Posts: 16,543
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kml Offline
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kml  Offline
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Posts: 16,543
Quote:
(I have cousins who divorced and remarried, at a much younger age, and each new husband was 10 years older than the previous one.)


Ha ha - and just to put your fears to rest about THIS one - I was divorced at 52 after 26 years together. I've dated five men since. One was 2 years older. All the rest have been younger than me smile

Re: I finally found out about some of his affairs [Re: kml] #2323428
02/19/13 01:47 PM
02/19/13 01:47 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
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darkhair Offline
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25 , great, great, great post.
klm, I like you so much

Re: I finally found out about some of his affairs [Re: 25yearsmlc] #2323522
02/19/13 08:44 PM
02/19/13 08:44 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 133
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too trusting Offline OP
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too trusting  Offline OP
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Posts: 133
Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc
To me, you're saying, in effect, that no matter what HE does to you or behind your back, you will stay married to him. I mean, short of physically abusing you, this is accurate, correct?

AND BTW, who said you'd be alone? You are not alone when he's gone, are you? What's with that fear based choice making of yours? And you assume that any/all OWs would marry him AND that they would be happy?

And that if they are happy that means what about YOU? Please read up on detachment. HIS happiness is not relevant to yours if you divorce.

But I'm reading that you'll stay married to him pretty much no matter what...that's what I'm reading TT. You tell me if I have it right or misunderstand

(or if it's just too scary to see that^^ in writing).

But It's true, isn't it? He can do anything he wants with OWs and you'll stay with him...right?

Well – it’s not exactly the way you describe it. but I appreciate the input.

It’s not “fear”. I just don’t see any advantage to being divorced. And on the other hand, I would lose out on the few advantages that I do have from my current marriage.

First, we run a business together. How would that work if we divorced? Believe me, my input is important for our business, even though we do have a secretary aka “office manager” who does an ok job, but still my input is important. I can see the difference when I am travelling and not accessible for a day. So if we divorced, I would either need to leave the business (and my absence would be felt, and that would harm me since I am expecting to continue getting income from the business) or I would need to continue to work with my ex – yikes! I CANNOT see that working!

Also, there are times when I need his advice, whether for a household or family matter, and he does give intelligent advice. I have had occasion to compare the advice I have gotten from him, to the advice I have gotten from friends and relatives, and his advice is better, darnit. He has an analytical mind. It’s not for nothing that he is a “big expert” in his field.

And – yes, we have been together for all of our adult life, and raised a family together.

By “alone” I didn’t mean “alone alone”. Yes, I have friends, I have my kids and grandkids, and I spend time with them, go out places, etc. I have my astronomy and tutoring and they keep me busy and give me a lot of satisfaction from helping people. But I don’t have to get divorced for that.

What I meant by “alone”, that was a euphemism for saying that I do not expect to find another husband. Besides the examples of my cousins, there is also the example of my sister, 3 years older than me and widowed for 3 years. She retired from her high-level business job and spends her time with her kids and grandkids. I don’t see her dating at all. And she is a “go-getter”.

On the other hand, I don’t think he would remarry if we divorced. He would continue “playing the field”, although I suppose he would have fewer excuses to give the OW’s. I can guarantee that none of them measures up to me. And I’m not bragging. I just know who we’re talking about.

Divorcing him would just mean that he would continue to do the same but would really do it in my face, and I would have nothing to say about it. After all, if we are divorced, he owes me nothing. And this would make things better for me how? Because I am "free" to date non-existent suitors?

So I don’t see any advantages for me in getting a divorce, but I do see advantages for him (once he gets past the fact that his name would be ruined in our family and community).

Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc
Can you give me three+ examples of how you would treat him differently?

Be as specific as possible please.

Well, basically I would detach. I would be looking at an unofficial separation, not a “legal separation” or anything official, but I would stop doing all the little supportive things I do for him.

I would not bother to be available to chat with him, watch movies together (which is more important to him than to me), etc. I would not share “my day” or my thoughts or opinions with him, and would not be available for hearing his. I would not do all the little errands that he doesn’t like to do. I would continue to do the minimum that is necessary for our business, but not with the extra “above and beyond” for his benefit and comfort that I have been doing till now. Basically it is the “After the LRT”.

It doesn’t sound like a lot. But I know it would make a difference. He’s a cake-eater, and I’d be taking that off the table. And if, as a result, he did have an “awakening” and realize what he is losing, that would be a lot easier to fix if we are “unofficially separated” than if we were in the process of getting divorced. “Keep the road paved….” etc.

So, why am I not already doing this? Because he claims he is being faithful. And I don’t have any evidence to the contrary, just bits and pieces that don’t really prove anything. And if he is being faithful, then boycotting him as if he is unfaithful would ruin our last chance to fix our marriage. So I can’t do this unless I am sure.

Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc
[quote=too trusting]I am pretty sure he would not want a divorce, because then the whole story would come out.

So his shame could keep him with you, at least for appearances sake? How would that feel to you?

That’s not what I meant. What I meant was that because of this factor, I am not concerned that he might suddenly decide to leave me for one of the OW’s. Yes, I am aware that this is due to his own selfish motives.

Also, while actually getting a divorce would not really give me any advantage, the fact that divorce has this drawback for him, could be a motivator for getting him to change, i.e. stop cheating, if he is still doing that.

Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc
If he were to marry Christi Brinkley.... [or if] he marries an OW who appears for all intents and purposes to be a "loser"... wouldn't that also make you feel bad? (So you see, either way, what HE chooses can make you feel lousy if you let it.)

Well, yeah, that’s one of the problems I currently have. At first I thought that he was seeing other women because our clients are mostly “career women”, the type who go around in high heels and uncomfortable but stylish clothes and spend an hour every morning on their hair and makeup. And I’m more “casual”. I’m ok but not “glamorous”. And I thought, at first, that maybe that was the reason he was looking elsewhere, because even if I tried I would not look like a fashion model.

Then I found out who some of these OW’s were – and they were definitely not the “glamorous” ones. Yes, some of them were total losers. So how did that make me feel? Right, even worse. Either way I feel lousy about it.

I don’t know what to do about it, though. Yes, I realize (logically) that it reflects on him a lot more than it reflects on me. But the "logical realization" doesn’t help me when I start feeling rejected.

Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc
OTOH, what happens if YOU find a man who treats you well? A man who sees your gifts as important or interesting (maybe an astronomy guy) and is attracted to you...and faithful to you? What about that possibility?

It’s a nice dream, but for various logistic reasons that I’d rather not go into here, it is highly unlikely that I would meet someone who is available and not looking for a nurse. not because of me, but because of demographics.

Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc
Are you hoping that when he's no longer able to cheat, THEN he'll be faithful b/c he has no choice?

No, I’m actually hoping that this “After the LRT” will shake him up a lot sooner than that, and make him realize what he is about to lose. No, I wouldn’t let it go that long, till he is “not able to cheat”. And I don’t think he would let it go that long either.

Also, when I say that he is cheating, it’s not just the PA’s but the EA’s also. I know (from the emails I’ve seen) that he was a lot nicer to the OW’s than he is to me. And that really bothers me.

Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc
OTOH if he is being faithful, then at some point, you'll have to stop worrying about it. Can't hold it over his head or throw it in his face when you fight.

Well, yeah, that’s the thing. If I could be sure that he is now being faithful, then I would calm down right away. Like, really right away. What is eating me up inside is that in many ways he is behaving like he still has something to hide. That is the only reason I am still worrying about it.

Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc
However, the way you described his behavior, it sounds as if he never really "got it" as to how hurt you were.

Right

Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc
Were there any tears on his end? Any genuine signs of true remorse? Not at getting caught, but b/c of hurting you?

Nope

Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc
You think shame will be effective as a way to keep him, yet you also don't want to admit that to him or be seen as threatening exposure?

No, more like – this is the natural consequence of his behavior, and I am sure he is aware of that, but it would be wrong and counterproductive for me to phrase it as a threat, as if *I* am threatening him.

Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc
"when a man feels guilt, long enough, he attacks"... If they don't get forgiven and allowed to drop the issue

Again, that is why I want to know one way or the other, so I would not be dragging out the heavy artillery for something that might just be my own “hypervigilance”.

Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc
"I do not think you should make it harder for him to regain your trust, (b/c you need to keep the road home, paved and smooth)

but at this point, he's doing virtually nothing to earn it. He appears to EXPECT you to believe him...as if he's never lied before. That's not realistic or fair or loving, imo.

Yes, exactly

Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc
[quote=too trusting]at this point in my life, I would not be able to support myself on my own.

That's not true if you are in the USA. You clearly need to see a divorce attorney.

Yes, we are in the US, and we’re in a community property state. But, I know nothing about how it applies to other aspects aside from our assets. e.g. he is probably not responsible for my income, since our children are grown, and if so I would have difficulty making ends meet. He would probably not have any responsibility towards my mother, either, and that is a big expense. My earning ability is very low because I haven’t developed an independent career, and my available time is limited because of the things I need to do for my mother. (Even with a full-time caregiver, there are a lot of things I need to do also.)

I did call the local bar association referral service, though, and have an appointment for a 30-min consultation tomorrow with a family law atty.

Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc
For a moment, assume that you'd be fine financially, even if divorced. Assume that you'd only have your expenses, that you'd do perfectly well in a slightly smaller home OR that you'd get the home...just for a minute, assume you'd have enough to live well.

NOW how do you see your marital situation?


But if he is not cheating, we could rehabilitate the other parts of our marriage. In the scenario you describe, I suppose I would be ok, but would be sorry for having broken up the marriage if it was not necessary.

Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc
1) You want to KNOW he's being faithful, and

2) if not, then you would want out. IF this is true, then what keeps you with him is the chance that he's being faithful, and financial fears.

So address those two^^ concerns.

well, I am going to talk with an atty tomorrow, so I should have more information on the financial side. (I don't know if it would be good news though.)

as for whether or not he is currently faithful, let me recap what I understand from various parts of your response -
1) the only way to be *sure* about this is to get a PI. (which I would hesitate to do because it's somewhat invasive to snoop like that. not to mention probably costs a fortune. I was hoping there is some other way.)
2) on the other hand, part of the problem is that he is not making any of the other motions that would be expected from a repentant, now-honest spouse. i.e. - he would be sorry not just about getting caught, but because I was hurt, would show me kindness and understanding, would not get angry when I ask him questions, would not act like he has something to hide, etc - and if he would be doing these things I wouldn't need to hire a PI? or am I stupid to believe him, ever?

Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc
That is where your focus ought to be, AND on creating a new happier life without him, which you can do b/c he's been gone a lot over the years.

You know how to be happy without him. Keep doing that.

Yes


Me: 60 H: 63
married 40, together 42
3 grown kids
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