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#2924857 10/12/21 09:57 PM
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I am 55, been married for 19 years, father of the perfect 11 year old girl...I know EVERYONE says that, but...
My wife and I have drifted slowly apart since my daughter's birth...same old story, too tired, too busy, too EVERYTHING, so I focused on being the very best daddy I could be....at the expense of being a decent husband. In 2014, I was forced out of the fire dept for health reasons and I began to drift, unable to find a new role for myself. I sank into a deep and devastating depression, unable to lift myself out because (as many depression victims know) THERE IS NO OUT WHEN YOU ARE DOWN THERE!! I couldn't even turn to the one person who could saved me. I became convinced that "Happy" was for other people, not me.
In 2019, my wife came home and asked why we were still living in MI when we had always planned to move west when I retired. I didn't have an answer, so, six months later, we were moving into our new home in Phoenix.
Things started to improve for me; I can see hope instead of hopelessness, I started to plan and dream again, instead of just existing, I found work that I love (no, truly!!), but....
My wife and I got no closer...we had become roommates, 2 people living in the same house, raising the same child in our appropriate shifts. She finally broke and told me we were circling the drain.
We committed to counseling/therapy, attended to pair sessions and 1 individual session each. 3 days after her session, she informed me that she was done, that she doesn't want to anymore. I am as committed to reconciliation as ever...I cannot SEE a world without my INTACT family.
Our therapist suggested [/u]The Divorce Remedy[u], and I am most of the way through...tough lessons, some very difficult to implement, but I need to do the HARD WORK...we did the easy part already...NOTHING and look where THAT got us.
Right now, I am living daily life, trying to be the best version of myself, but I am living in absolute terror

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Welcome! I am pasting in Cadet's Welcome posting for you.

Welcome! I am pasting in Cadet's Welcome posting for you.

Welcome to the board

Sorry you are here but you will meet some wonderful people here and get some great advice.

Yes first thing you should do is be sure to read the Divorce Remedy (DR) book by MWD
http://www.mcssl.com/store/mwdtc2014/
http://divorcebusting.com/sample_book_chapters.htm

and Michele's articles
http://www.divorcebusting.com/articles.htm

You may be on moderation now, post in small frequent replies and stay on this thread until you reach 100 posts
(for your thread, you can also post on other peoples threads to give support).
Especially on this Newcomers forum, where the posting activity is very active,
and your posts can quickly fall to the bottom of the page or even several pages down.
Keep journaling and asking questions - people will come!
Most important - POST!

Get out and Get a Life (GAL).

DETACH.

Believe none of what he or she says and half of what he/she does.

Have NO EXPECTATIONS.

Take care of yourself, breathe, eat, sleep, exercise.

Take the parts of this advice that you need and don't worry if I have repeated something that you have already done.

Here are a few links to threads that will help you immensely:

I would start with Sandi's Rules
A list of dos and don'ts for the LBS (left behind spouse)
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2553072#Post2553072

Going Dark
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=50956#Post5095

Detachment thread
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2538414#Post2538414

Validation Cheat Sheet: Techniques and tips on how to validate (showing your walk away spouse (WAS) that you recognize and accept his or her opinions as valid, even if you do not agree with them)
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2457566#Post2457566

Boundaries Cheat Sheet
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2536096#Post2536096

Abbreviations
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2553153#Post2553153

For Newcomer LBH with a Wayward Wife by sandi2
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2545554#Post2545554

Resource thread
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forum...ain=57819&Number=2578224#Post2578224

Stages of the LBS
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1964990&page=1

Validation
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=191764#Post191764

Pursuit and Distance
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2483574#Post2483574

The Lighthouse Story
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2484619#Post2484619

Your H or W is giving you a GIFT.
THE GIFT OF TIME.
USE it wisely.

Knowledge is Power - Sir Francis Bacon


Sit quietly, the answers will reveal themselves when you least expect them to.
The past is gone, the present is a gift and you need to focus on today, allow the future to reveal itself when it is ready.
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I am sorry you are here but we can help you.


Originally Posted by CurtisO
I am 55, been married for 19 years, father of the perfect 11 year old girl...I know EVERYONE says that, but...
How old is your wife?
Originally Posted by CurtisO
My wife and I have drifted slowly apart since my daughter's birth...same old story, too tired, too busy, too EVERYTHING, so I focused on being the very best daddy I could be....at the expense of being a decent husband. .
This is very typical in long-term marriages.
Originally Posted by CurtisO
In 2014, I was forced out of the fire dept for health reasons and I began to drift, unable to find a new role for myself. I sank into a deep and devastating depression, unable to lift myself out because (as many depression victims know) THERE IS NO OUT WHEN YOU ARE DOWN THERE!! I couldn't even turn to the one person who could saved me. I became convinced that "Happy" was for other people, not me.
Would you say you became angry and bitter?
Originally Posted by CurtisO
In 2019, my wife came home and asked why we were still living in MI when we had always planned to move west when I retired. I didn't have an answer, so, six months later, we were moving into our new home in Phoenix.
It's actually very common for a person to try a move as the last attempt at happiness.
Originally Posted by CurtisO
Things started to improve for me; I can see hope instead of hopelessness, I started to plan and dream again, instead of just existing, I found work that I love (no, truly!!), but....
That's great!
Originally Posted by CurtisO
My wife and I got no closer...we had become roommates, 2 people living in the same house, raising the same child in our appropriate shifts. She finally broke and told me we were circling the drain.
Very common!
Originally Posted by CurtisO
We committed to counseling/therapy, attended to pair sessions and 1 individual session each. 3 days after her session, she informed me that she was done, that she doesn't want to anymore.
She's done for now and will likely be for a really long time. Doesn't mean her feelings can't change.
Originally Posted by CurtisO
I cannot SEE a world without my INTACT family.
I felt the same. Boy I was never more wrong.
Originally Posted by CurtisO
I am living in absolute terror
These needs to stop. People do a lot of desperate things when they live in fear.

Have you read the homework yet. Start with Sandi's rules and follow them as best as you can. Post often.


M:51 W:46
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“Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.”- Will Smith
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Hi Curtis,

I'm sorry you are here. In 19 years of marriage, you say for 10 you were focused elsewhere, and for 6 you were jobless and depressed. I love how you describe your transformation this past year--

Originally Posted by Curtis
I can see hope instead of hopelessness, I started to plan and dream again, instead of just existing, I found work that I love (no, truly!!),

That guy is attractive--he has hopes, plans, and dreams and works a job he loves.

Originally Posted by Curtis
I cannot SEE a world without my INTACT family.

This guy isn't so attractive--he needs his wife to survive; he is a burden.

Originally Posted by Curtis
Right now, I am living daily life, trying to be the best version of myself, but I am living in absolute terror
Change can be terrifying at a moment when you don't have your traditional support network. Keep working on adapting and being your best you! I'm glad she got you to move. Breaking through that depression and doing all you describe above is amazing. Having that non-depressed dad sounds like the most important thing for your daughter--more important than whether she has two homes or one. May the happiness and confidence you gain makes you irresistible to your wife. If not, others will notice. wink



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CurtisO,

Sorry to hear about your situation. Most of us on here know exactly how you're feeling right now. The most important thing is hang in there...it WILL get better.

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by CurtisO
In 2019, my wife came home and asked why we were still living in MI when we had always planned to move west when I retired. I didn't have an answer, so, six months later, we were moving into our new home in Phoenix.
It's actually very common for a person to try a move as the last attempt at happiness.
So you've been living in Phoenix for two years? I hate to ask this, but do you suspect anyone else involved in her life? It seems like in a lot of situations on here surface (though have been developing awhile before) when there's a new town or new job involved...leads to meeting new people and potentially an EA or PA. This is an anecdotal example, but my ExW started up with OM1 at the start of a new role at her company.

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by CurtisO
We committed to counseling/therapy, attended to pair sessions and 1 individual session each. 3 days after her session, she informed me that she was done, that she doesn't want to anymore.
She's done for now and will likely be for a really long time. Doesn't mean her feelings can't change.
This is common. After months of asking for MC, my wife finally agreed to it but wouldn't do any of the homework and told me in the 3rd session she wanted a D.

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by CurtisO
I cannot SEE a world without my INTACT family.
I felt the same. Boy I was never more wrong.
I certainly understand your desire to keep your family together. I was there, and so were most on here, but unfortunately not something you can control...and you CAN have a good life without it.

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by CurtisO
I am living in absolute terror
These needs to stop. People do a lot of desperate things when they live in fear.
^Completely agree w/LH19. Get STRONG!!!!

Detach. First ACT as if you can get on without her (because you can) even when you don't feel like it, and then start FEELING like you can get on without her, and finally start KNOWING you can. Keep crushing it at your job you love. Be a great father. Start working out. Go out and do activities and meet people. This is will help you get through it more than anything else.

It's hard. I get it. Right now you're sad/depressed/scared/anxious about the potential life changes which aren't in your control. However, the sooner you get up off the proverbial coach (I've been there) and start crushing it in life regardless of what your W decides, the better off you'll be. Take action!


Me:39 Ex-W:37
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:3
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
W files for D: Jul20
OM2 confirmed: 9/2020
Divorced: May '21
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Originally Posted by LH19
I am sorry you are here but we can help you.


Originally Posted by CurtisO
I am 55, been married for 19 years, father of the perfect 11 year old girl...I know EVERYONE says that, but...
How old is your wife?

She is 49
Originally Posted by BL42
CurtisO,


It's actually very common for a person to try a move as the last attempt at happiness.
So you've been living in Phoenix for two years? I hate to ask this, but do you suspect anyone else involved in her life? It seems like in a lot of situations on here surface (though have been developing awhile before) when there's a new town or new job involved...leads to meeting new people and potentially an EA or PA. This is an anecdotal example, but my ExW started up with OM1 at the start of a new role at her company.

I have no reason to suspect...I don't know when/where she might have found time for it. I cannot rule it out, but it seems unlikely. I DO suspect that she has a new female friend who is encouraging/supporting her and may even be actively working against me. I AM NOT investigating!!

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Originally Posted by CurtisO
I DO suspect that she has a new female friend who is encouraging/supporting her and may even be actively working against me. I AM NOT investigating!!
What makes you think this is the case?

Last edited by LH19; 10/14/21 07:07 PM.

M:51 W:46
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“Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.”- Will Smith
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Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by CurtisO
I DO suspect that she has a new female friend who is encouraging/supporting her and may even be actively working against me. I AM NOT investigating!!
What makes you think this is the case?

Unusual texting activities/times, some secretive behaviors on W part that seem to precede the "less good" days between us

again, I AM NOT investigating, it is what it is, nothing I can do about it if I'm right. I am TRYING to be stronger, sick of the weakness that I have exhibited leading up to all this

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Originally Posted by CurtisO
Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by CurtisO
I DO suspect that she has a new female friend who is encouraging/supporting her and may even be actively working against me. I AM NOT investigating!!
What makes you think this is the case?

Unusual texting activities/times, some secretive behaviors on W part that seem to precede the "less good" days between us

again, I AM NOT investigating, it is what it is, nothing I can do about it if I'm right. I am TRYING to be stronger, sick of the weakness that I have exhibited leading up to all this
Is an affair a deal breaker for you?


M:51 W:46
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“Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.”- Will Smith
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This may be denial, but I do not suspect an affair, just a friend who might be working against my interests. Perhaps actively, as in she wants my W for herself, or passively, saying things she thinks are supportive. On the other hand, I may be completely full of crap here...this pain and confusion might be making me a bit paranoid...Again, I AM NOT following, stalking, checking up, asking, tracking, sneaking...any of the creepy things that most of would want to do. I am simply living each day as best I can...working when able, maintaining the house, caring for the kid, hitting the gym, etc. I check in here, I read the book, I am using the coaching sessions, following the DOs/DON'Ts, but I can't shake the feeling that I am DO/DON'Ting my way to a divorce

If there IS an infidelity, I think at this point, while it might be painful, I have to assume some of responsibility for creating an environment that drove her to it. As agonizing as it would be, it might be better than this blindsided feeling I am living now. An affair could be something that we BOTH apologize for and work away from. I WANT to do the hard work (we already did the easy part...NOTHING), but she is determined that divorce is the ONLY way forward.

We HAVE NOT been close or physically intimate for some time. From my perspective, she simply lost interest in sex and the rejection became too tiresome to endure, so I stopped trying, both sexually and in the mundane little everyday ways (thouches, hugs, etc). I was always willing if she initiated sex, but that was rare. Now, of course, I crave nothing more that a simple touch or caress...

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Originally Posted by CurtisO
I am 55, been married for 19 years, father of the perfect 11 year old girl...I know EVERYONE says that, but...
My wife and I have drifted slowly apart since my daughter's birth...same old story, too tired, too busy, too EVERYTHING, so I focused on being the very best daddy I could be....at the expense of being a decent husband. In 2014, I was forced out of the fire dept for health reasons and I began to drift, unable to find a new role for myself. I sank into a deep and devastating depression, unable to lift myself out because (as many depression victims know) THERE IS NO OUT WHEN YOU ARE DOWN THERE!! I couldn't even turn to the one person who could saved me. I became convinced that "Happy" was for other people, not me.
In 2019, my wife came home and asked why we were still living in MI when we had always planned to move west when I retired. I didn't have an answer, so, six months later, we were moving into our new home in Phoenix.
Things started to improve for me; I can see hope instead of hopelessness, I started to plan and dream again, instead of just existing, I found work that I love (no, truly!!), but....
My wife and I got no closer...we had become roommates, 2 people living in the same house, raising the same child in our appropriate shifts. She finally broke and told me we were circling the drain.
We committed to counseling/therapy, attended to pair sessions and 1 individual session each. 3 days after her session, she informed me that she was done, that she doesn't want to anymore. I am as committed to reconciliation as ever...I cannot SEE a world without my INTACT family.
Our therapist suggested [/u]The Divorce Remedy[u], and I am most of the way through...tough lessons, some very difficult to implement, but I need to do the HARD WORK...we did the easy part already...NOTHING and look where THAT got us.
Right now, I am living daily life, trying to be the best version of myself, but I am living in absolute terror

Curtis, sorry man. Very common tale.

As others have warned, brace yourself for the possibility of another man. New town. New acquaintances. New opportunities. We used to have a pretty common mantra around here: A monkey doesn't jump from the branch it is on until it finds another branch that can support it. The point is that no matter how bad a R is, most people do not pull the plug until they have met someone new.

The good news is that it changes NOTHING you should be doing. Remove all focus from her. Focus on yourself. Go out and GAL like a madman. Every minute you aren't with your daughter, you are busy. Hanging with the guys, going fishing, going hiking/running/walking. Avoid members of the opposite sex, but go out and develop deep bonds with other guys, and spend time with them. Keep working on you and self-improving in any and all ways that you can. And detach from her. Get to a place where your emotions are in check no matter what she says or does. Find the happy inside of you, and go live everyday.

Let her go to figure out her own stuff. Ultimately it is her decision. It takes two committed indivduals to make a MR work. It only takes one of the two to make a D. SO do not focus on what you cannot control, go out and keep the focus on the one thing you can: YOU! Become the best versions of you that you can be, a version only a fool would leave!

Remember 20 years ago when you two first met? You know what intrigued her about you? It was that you had a whole life that she knew nothing about. Go out and recapture that! She'll either be intrigued by it or she won't, but you will have a great life to live either way!

Finally, drop fear. Fear doesn't make it stronger, it doesn't cause us to make our best decisions. (I am thinking of the TV commercial here where the kids are running from the chainsaw killer and decide to hide in his garage instead of hopping into the running car!) Feel the fear, realize it, then let it go. You are going to be ok no matter what happens. The sooner you realize that the sooner you can start moving forward with your life.

Oh, one more thing! (Finally really this time.) Do not dwell on the past mistakes. The point of DR is for you to forge ahead better and stronger today, not look back with regrets at water under the bridge that you cannot change. What happened yesterday, last week, last month, last year and ten years ago is not as important as what you decide to do right now, today. So focus on that, not on the past.


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Originally Posted by CurtisO
We HAVE NOT been close or physically intimate for some time. From my perspective, she simply lost interest in sex and the rejection became too tiresome to endure, so I stopped trying, both sexually and in the mundane little everyday ways (thouches, hugs, etc). I was always willing if she initiated sex, but that was rare. Now, of course, I crave nothing more that a simple touch or caress...

A very common tale as well. For women, attraction follows respect. They cannot be attracted to a man they do not respect. So looking at your tale: Lost a job, wallowed in self-pity and depression. Didn't follow through on a promise (moving after retirement) until nudged. What we have here is a recipe for a W to lose respect for her H.

You then, in retaliation remove all now sexual affection. One thing I have learned the hard way in my own MR is that if the only time you touch a women is when you want to have sex, then sex will become something that rarely happens. Touching, hugging, kissing, rubbing, massaging, holding, etc must all exist outside of sex for sex to happen. Again think about how you were when you were dating. Holding hands, sitting close, kissing and hugging for hi and bye, etc. Non-sexual affection has to be part of the R or sexual affection will never happen.

Please understand, I do not say all of that to hurt you, but to open your eyes to the dynamics at play here. We have to learn from our situations or we will be doomed to repeat them. So take this opportunity you have been given to learn and improve for the future, no matter what it holds!

Now, I should also caution you that trying to fix this now is NOT a good idea. Do not start trying to hug, and kiss, and rub, and caress. It is too late for that, that would have to come later if and when a reconciliation were to occur. So do not try those things, stick to focusing on yourself, GAL, continuing to self-improve and detach.


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Read this post (and as many of the threads it likes to as you can):
https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2923056

Originally Posted by CurtisO
again, I AM NOT investigating, it is what it is, nothing I can do about it if I'm right.
https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2039677#Post2039677
PDT was a great DBer. I believe some intel helps, but once things are confirmed, further snooping only hinders.


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
Amor Fati
Link to quotes: https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2879712
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So, I'm following the steps...no confrontations, live my life, no stalking, no begging, pleasant as I can be (more, I think, given the circumstances). I have been job-hunting, apartment hunting, working when I can, maintaining as normal a schedule for our daughter as I can...

Per the book, I have moved on to trying little changes to monitor the result and....the ONLY positive responses I get from WAW are when I am agreeing and cooperating with her plan. We sat down last night to discuss custody arrangements...very "pleasant" conversation. If I mention where I plan to live after (One bedroom apartment, initially...I sleep on couch on my weeks), she is enthusiastic. When I discuss full-time employment (as a 55 year old disabled firefighter and stay-at-home dad, so imagine the work I am looking at), she becomes very supportive ("An afternoons job at an Amazon warehouse?!? That sounds GREAT!!!)

If I even HINT at the real logistics of a split family, if I dare to suggest that I do not understand how this is happening so quickly or why, the ice wall is INSTANTLY erected and she turns vicious ("That's YOUR problem!!!"). This viciousness is the worst part...this IS NOT the woman I married and lived with for 19 years...or even the same woman as 6 months ago!!

I am trying! This is as much pain as I have ever endured and the confusion is not helping, but I am TRYING, but I feel as if I am politely cooperating with my own divorce, when it is the very last thing I want.

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CurtisO,

Glad you came back. You should post your update in your previous thread instead of starting a new one. One of the moderators might merge them:

Hanging on by a thread
https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2924857

Originally Posted by CurtisO
So, I'm following the steps...no confrontations, live my life, no stalking, no begging, pleasant as I can be (more, I think, given the circumstances). I have been job-hunting, apartment hunting, working when I can, maintaining as normal a schedule for our daughter as I can...
All good stuff! Keep it up!

Originally Posted by CurtisO
Per the book, I have moved on to trying little changes to monitor the result and....the ONLY positive responses I get from WAW are when I am agreeing and cooperating with her plan. We sat down last night to discuss custody arrangements...very "pleasant" conversation. If I mention where I plan to live after (One bedroom apartment, initially...I sleep on couch on my weeks), she is enthusiastic. When I discuss full-time employment (as a 55 year old disabled firefighter and stay-at-home dad, so imagine the work I am looking at), she becomes very supportive ("An afternoons job at an Amazon warehouse?!? That sounds GREAT!!!)

If I even HINT at the real logistics of a split family, if I dare to suggest that I do not understand how this is happening so quickly or why, the ice wall is INSTANTLY erected and she turns vicious ("That's YOUR problem!!!"). This viciousness is the worst part...this IS NOT the woman I married and lived with for 19 years...or even the same woman as 6 months ago!!
Don't start fights or arguments, but also don't just do everything she wants in hopes she'll come around. A common saying around here is "you can't NICE her back". If she's having an affair and wants to be done, you just going along with everything to make her happy won't change things.

Consult a lawyer!!! At the very least so you know your rights and are reassured about what you'll get should a divorce happen. If you've been a stay at home dad for a long time and she has a good career you're likely looking at spousal maintenance, child support, and pension/retirement money from her. As the primary caregiver you may even have an edge when it comes to custody. You should understand what your rights are, and any implications getting a new place or job or any custody arrangement will have on those, before you agree to anything in writing or in practice.

Originally Posted by CurtisO
I am trying! This is as much pain as I have ever endured and the confusion is not helping, but I am TRYING, but I feel as if I am politely cooperating with my own divorce, when it is the very last thing I want.
Keep trying! It most likely will not be a quick fix. A week or a month of trying isn't going to cut it...you have to keep it up for a LONG period of time. Make changes to better your entire life going forward.

Last edited by BL42; 10/25/21 01:49 PM.

Me:39 Ex-W:37
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:3
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
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OM2 confirmed: 9/2020
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Curtis, did you read all of the responses to your previous thread?

You need to stop worrying about her reactions. It sounds like she is in a new R, and any feedback that gets her into a fulltime position to pursue the new R is not an option for her.

The biggest problem I see from your OP is this comment:

"I cannot SEE a world without my INTACT family."

That is the biggest 180 you can make right now. You have to see and realize and understand that no matter what she decides, stay or go, you will be okay. You have a little time left on this earth (about the same age as me), I would hate to see you wasting it waiting for someone that doesn't want to be with you.

One of my favorite quotes from The Shawshank Redemption: "Get busy living or get busy dying." I choose the former................


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Originally Posted by BL42
CurtisO,

Glad you came back. You should post your update in your previous thread instead of starting a new one. One of the moderators might merge them:


Originally Posted by CurtisO
So, I'm following the steps...no confrontations, live my life, no stalking, no begging, pleasant as I can be (more, I think, given the circumstances). I have been job-hunting, apartment hunting, working when I can, maintaining as normal a schedule for our daughter as I can...
All good stuff! Keep it up!

Originally Posted by CurtisO
Per the book, I have moved on to trying little changes to monitor the result and....the ONLY positive responses I get from WAW are when I am agreeing and cooperating with her plan. We sat down last night to discuss custody arrangements...very "pleasant" conversation. If I mention where I plan to live after (One bedroom apartment, initially...I sleep on couch on my weeks), she is enthusiastic. When I discuss full-time employment (as a 55 year old disabled firefighter and stay-at-home dad, so imagine the work I am looking at), she becomes very supportive ("An afternoons job at an Amazon warehouse?!? That sounds GREAT!!!)

If I even HINT at the real logistics of a split family, if I dare to suggest that I do not understand how this is happening so quickly or why, the ice wall is INSTANTLY erected and she turns vicious ("That's YOUR problem!!!"). This viciousness is the worst part...this IS NOT the woman I married and lived with for 19 years...or even the same woman as 6 months ago!!
Don't start fights or arguments, but also don't just do everything she wants in hopes she'll come around. A common saying around here is "you can't NICE her back". If she's having an affair and wants to be done, you just going along with everything to make her happy won't change things.

Consult a lawyer!!! At the very least so you know your rights and are reassured about what you'll get should a divorce happen. If you've been a stay at home dad for a long time and she has a good career you're likely looking at spousal maintenance, child support, and pension/retirement money from her. As the primary caregiver you may even have an edge when it comes to custody. You should understand what your rights are, and any implications getting a new place or job or any custody arrangement will have on those, before you agree to anything in writing or in practice.

Originally Posted by CurtisO
I am trying! This is as much pain as I have ever endured and the confusion is not helping, but I am TRYING, but I feel as if I am politely cooperating with my own divorce, when it is the very last thing I want.
Keep trying! It most likely will not be a quick fix. A week or a month of trying isn't going to cut it...you have to keep it up for a LONG period of time. Make changes to better your entire life going forward.


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"I cannot SEE a world without my INTACT family."

I admit now that this was an irrational statement made in a very emotional state. I CAN, in fact, see that world...and it [censored] and it doesn't have to be that way.

My reality seems to be that my WAW is VERY comfortable with her vision of moving forward. Our conversations seem to center around choosing the least bad of a bunch of bad options, most of which don't seem so bad to her. Daughter will adjust, W will be better off alone, etc. I am typically a very logical person and NONE of this makes any sense to me. I would really like to know WHY my home and work over the last 37 years has to be dismantled!!

If my WAW is in a new relationship, I don't know it...or even how she found the time. She is home every night, in bed early to be up by 3:30am. I don't ask because it might just be none of my business...almost certainly so from her perspective.

Experts and lay-people alike are advising me that I have a solid case for spousal maintenance and I will likely seek it, which will certainly drive yet another wedge between us. "Don't start fights or arguments..." Well, that's gonna be the mother of all arguments!!

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Originally Posted by Curtis0
Experts and lay-people alike are advising me that I have a solid case for spousal maintenance and I will likely seek it, which will certainly drive yet another wedge between us. "Don't start fights or arguments..." Well, that's gonna be the mother of all arguments!!
Don't argue. If that's not already a 180, then make it one. If you two can't agree on spousal maintenance, defer it to your laywers, and if they can't agree (rare), defer it to a judge.

Heated words won't do anything to improve the exchange.

Originally Posted by Curtis0
If I mention where I plan to live after (One bedroom apartment, initially...I sleep on couch on my weeks), she is enthusiastic. When I discuss full-time employment (as a 55 year old disabled firefighter and stay-at-home dad, so imagine the work I am looking at), she becomes very supportive ("An afternoons job at an Amazon warehouse?!? That sounds GREAT!!!)
Normally, D negotiations center on things you two need to agree to--e.g., division of assets, custody schedule, etc. What's your purpose in telling her your personal plans after D? It sounds like you resent her responding supportively. What response were you aiming for by sharing that?

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Originally Posted by CurtisO
My reality seems to be that my WAW is VERY comfortable with her vision of moving forward.
Very possible, even likely she's comfortable with it...at least at the present. It's also possible her view changes after you start moving on, or she starts paying spousal support, or the affair partner and/or dating pool doesn't turn out the way she had hoped or fantasized about.

Originally Posted by CurtisO
If my WAW is in a new relationship, I don't know it...or even how she found the time. She is home every night, in bed early to be up by 3:30am. I don't ask because it might just be none of my business...almost certainly so from her perspective.
Obviously none of us her know for sure if she's in another relationship. What we can tell you is it seems like the vast majority of cases on here have another person involved, whether it comes out immediately or down the road...even when the poster swears up and down there can't possibly be anyone else involved because "there's no time/opportunity for it" or "they promised me there's no one else".

Originally Posted by CurtisO
Experts and lay-people alike are advising me that I have a solid case for spousal maintenance and I will likely seek it, which will certainly drive yet another wedge between us. "Don't start fights or arguments..." Well, that's gonna be the mother of all arguments!!
You don't need to argue about it. If it comes to divorce the lawyers will hash it out - you don't need to engage her on it at all. However, do not think that by offering to "be nice" and waive spousal maintenance it's going to make her want to all of sudden reconcile. If it comes to it, make sure to protect yourself and get what you're entitled to.


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Originally Posted by CurtisO
"I cannot SEE a world without my INTACT family."

I admit now that this was an irrational statement made in a very emotional state. I CAN, in fact, see that world...and it [censored] and it doesn't have to be that way.

We all go through the "why me" phase. I am going to tell you that being willing to embrace your new reality is the only way that it might turn around. Fighting it, resisting it, and trying to change it will result in behaviors that are detrimental to your situation. Not beneficial. So vent here, but when it comes to interacting with her you need to be cool as a cucumber.

Originally Posted by CurtisO
My reality seems to be that my WAW is VERY comfortable with her vision of moving forward.

It is worse than this. It isn't just that she is VERY comfortable with her vision.......it is the only way she sees to move forward that results in her ending up happy. Some of the best advice I got from an expert early on in my situation was that my W was just trying to be happy. It wasn't personal against me, it wasn't her trying to hurt me, it wasn't her just trying to blow things up......she just wanted to be happy. When you frame her actions in those terms the question comes up: Do you love her enough that you want her to be happy no matter what? Even if it means not staying with you? Or is your love a selfish love that wants what is only best for you?

Once your W goes wayward, which it sounds like yours has, she will not even consider staying in the marriage as an option. And the more you try to get her to the more she will think she is doing the right thing by leaving you.

Originally Posted by CurtisO
Our conversations seem to center around choosing the least bad of a bunch of bad options, most of which don't seem so bad to her. Daughter will adjust, W will be better off alone, etc. I am typically a very logical person and NONE of this makes any sense to me.

Trying to make sense of a wayward wife's actions is never going to result in anything logical. They are the most illogical creatures on the planet. So trying to talk sense to her is only going to make her angry and frustrated. Anything that doesn't support what she is doing, she will resist. That is why pressure and pursuit has almost no chance of ever working.

Originally Posted by CurtisO
I would really like to know WHY my home and work over the last 37 years has to be dismantled!!

Again, venting here with this kind of statement is great, but do not let it cloud your actions with her.


Originally Posted by CurtisO
If my WAW is in a new relationship, I don't know it...or even how she found the time. She is home every night, in bed early to be up by 3:30am. I don't ask because it might just be none of my business...almost certainly so from her perspective.

I have a friend that cheated on her husband. When my situation started I conferred with her. My WW was in an EA with a man several states away. This friend kept insisting that my W was cheating on me physically. I insisted there was no way she could be with her schedule and where I knew she was, etc. Her response stopped me in my tracks:

"Steve, a woman will go to any lengths necessary to find a way to cheat!" (Note, I am sure cheating men will do the same.)

I was at work all day. She could have been coming and going as she pleased. Heck she could have had someone coming to the house! She could have been having a quickie in the parking lot of my daughter's school after she dropped her off. It doesn't take a lot of time for someone to cheat.

In my situation it turns out her cheating was all virtual. Nude pics, maybe phone calls (or video calls) with them doing things to themselves. The point is: that was still finding a way to cheat.

Originally Posted by CurtisO
Experts and lay-people alike are advising me that I have a solid case for spousal maintenance and I will likely seek it, which will certainly drive yet another wedge between us. "Don't start fights or arguments..." Well, that's gonna be the mother of all arguments!!

Do you need spousal maintenance? Is going after spousal maintenance an alpha or a beta behavior? Is it going to make you look more attractive or less attractive in her eyes? Do not do it just because you can. Only do it if it is required in your situation. We had a man that was disabled and fully supported by his cheating wife here recently. I would advise him to go for spousal support because it was a necessity.

Oh, and if you are doing it thinking it will wake her up, well, I am afraid those are the kind of expectations that will disappoint you. If you do not need spousal support, and go for it anyway, you will end up D'd and on spousal support (and usually it ain't very much) almost for sure.

Last edited by SteveLW; 10/26/21 01:03 PM.

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Originally Posted by SteveLW
Do you need spousal maintenance? Is going after spousal maintenance an alpha or a beta behavior? Is it going to make you look more attractive or less attractive in her eyes? Do not do it just because you can. Only do it if it is required in your situation. We had a man that was disabled and fully supported by his cheating wife here recently. I would advise him to go for spousal support because it was a necessity.

Oh, and if you are doing it thinking it will wake her up, well, I am afraid those are the kind of expectations that will disappoint you. If you do not need spousal support, and go for it anyway, you will end up D'd and on spousal support (and usually it ain't very much) almost for sure.

I am 55 and collecting a disability pension from the fire department. I CANNOT return to
first-responders-type work without legal jeopardy. While I do work part-time now in a field that I LOVE, I'm not sure it is sustainable as full-time work.

I DO NOT want to ask for support, but real estate/rent in this area is crazy expensive. To rent a small house in our current neighborhood/school (where we want our daughter to stay) would consume all of my pension. A small apartment nearby would cost over 1/2 of it. The most affordable option would likely be a small manufactured home in a 55+ community, but there are typically no children living nearby, no one for my daughter to be with. I would not seek support to enrich myself or punish my W (although....I have worked hard for 37 years, on my own and with my W, to get where I am now. Am I really supposed to give it all up and start over, just because SHE says so?!?! Yes, there is some anger there).

If I have to seek support, it would be to help me maintain as much "normal" for our daughter as possible...and likely be the death knell for ANY chance at reconciliation. This is a terrible Catch-22

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Originally Posted by CurtisO
If I have to seek support, it would be to help me maintain as much "normal" for our daughter as possible...and likely be the death knell for ANY chance at reconciliation. This is a terrible Catch-22
If there is a reconciliation it will have nothing to do with support. It will be because her old life is better then her new life. This will likely take years for her to figure out. All your decisions moving forward are what's best for you and your daughter.


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CurtisO,
Originally Posted by SteveLW
Do you need spousal maintenance? Is going after spousal maintenance an alpha or a beta behavior? Is it going to make you look more attractive or less attractive in her eyes? Do not do it just because you can. Only do it if it is required in your situation.

Oh, and if you are doing it thinking it will wake her up, well, I am afraid those are the kind of expectations that will disappoint you. If you do not need spousal support, and go for it anyway, you will end up D'd and on spousal support (and usually it ain't very much) almost for sure.

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by CurtisO
If I have to seek support, it would be to help me maintain as much "normal" for our daughter as possible...and likely be the death knell for ANY chance at reconciliation. This is a terrible Catch-22
If there is a reconciliation it will have nothing to do with support. It will be because her old life is better then her new life. This will likely take years for her to figure out. All your decisions moving forward are what's best for you and your daughter.
I'm with LH on this one. Can't say I understand why, IF she decides to D you, you wouldn't take what is legally/rightfully yours. You don't need to fight about it now - if she pursues a divorce let your lawyer advise you on your rights and negotiate an equitable agreement under the law. I wouldn't pass on anything you're entitled to financially (whether it's spousal support or child support) just because "it's not alpha behavior" or on the hope it makes you look stronger not to take it. I don't believe she won't reconcile with you simply because of what your L negotiated in a D.


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Originally Posted by CurtisO
Originally Posted by SteveLW
Do you need spousal maintenance? Is going after spousal maintenance an alpha or a beta behavior? Is it going to make you look more attractive or less attractive in her eyes? Do not do it just because you can. Only do it if it is required in your situation. We had a man that was disabled and fully supported by his cheating wife here recently. I would advise him to go for spousal support because it was a necessity.

Oh, and if you are doing it thinking it will wake her up, well, I am afraid those are the kind of expectations that will disappoint you. If you do not need spousal support, and go for it anyway, you will end up D'd and on spousal support (and usually it ain't very much) almost for sure.

I am 55 and collecting a disability pension from the fire department. I CANNOT return to
first-responders-type work without legal jeopardy. While I do work part-time now in a field that I LOVE, I'm not sure it is sustainable as full-time work.

I DO NOT want to ask for support, but real estate/rent in this area is crazy expensive. To rent a small house in our current neighborhood/school (where we want our daughter to stay) would consume all of my pension. A small apartment nearby would cost over 1/2 of it. The most affordable option would likely be a small manufactured home in a 55+ community, but there are typically no children living nearby, no one for my daughter to be with. I would not seek support to enrich myself or punish my W (although....I have worked hard for 37 years, on my own and with my W, to get where I am now. Am I really supposed to give it all up and start over, just because SHE says so?!?! Yes, there is some anger there).

If I have to seek support, it would be to help me maintain as much "normal" for our daughter as possible...and likely be the death knell for ANY chance at reconciliation. This is a terrible Catch-22

Sounds like the support will be necessary. As was pointed out, R will either happen or not regardless of what you decide on support. You shouldn't be making decisions regarding future R anyway. My only point in my last post was that manipulation attempts almost always backfire, so don't engage in them. Do what is best for your daughter and you.

I know going through this is difficult. Everyone here can relate.


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Originally Posted by CurtisO
My reality seems to be that my WAW is VERY comfortable with her vision of moving forward. Our conversations seem to center around choosing the least bad of a bunch of bad options, most of which don't seem so bad to her. Daughter will adjust, W will be better off alone, etc. I am typically a very logical person and NONE of this makes any sense to me. I would really like to know WHY my home and work over the last 37 years has to be dismantled!!
Everyone feels like their situation is unique, and there must be some answer, some solution they just haven't discovered that is within their control. There isn't. You don't have an option that doesn't suck. You have to pick the least sucky option of all the sucky options you have and learn to accept that. The option that [censored] the least is protecting yourself by giving yourself emotional space.

Distance from her emotionally, but be happy, upbeat, successful and positive on your own. Fake it until you make it. That is quite literally all you can do, and that, my friend, is a very bitter pill to swallow.

Although it's impossible for you to see at the time, this is 100% survivable no matter how it goes. I've been happier divorced than I was for years being married. I 100% believe in marriage, and I miss the feeling and comfort of "being a family" but I do not miss my ex at all, and her behavior should not have been tolerated for as long as it was. At the time I couldn't see it, I thought she was the most wonderful woman ever, and that certainly I could fix this. I was wrong on both counts.

This is the value of hind sight, and unfortunately for most people, you can't absorb it until you're ready.

Instead of wondering how to react to your W's moves, focus on removing your fear. Where would you live if you separated? Go look at some options, see what it costs and what it would look like. Meet with a lawyer and understand your financial situation. Start separating your finances.

Fear largely results from the unknown. Figure out the reality behind your fears. If nothing else, the knowledge is comforting even though you may not like the answers. Don't just give it lip service, actually go out and look at some places you might rent. Walk through them, touch them, make it real. Understand that you have options and you are not just a passenger in her sidecar, doomed to ride where she drives you.

Having to tell them that XW would be moving out was one of the hardest days of my life leading up to that moment, but once it was done it was a tremendous relief. Kids are resilient. They process the change and they carry on, faster than adults do.

Your daughter cannot have the life back that she had -- she can't. Your W's actions have removed that as a possibility. Seeing you stand up for yourself and continuing to love and support her is a great example to set.

Sometimes things don't work out the way you wanted but you can still have a wonderful life, despite the change. I'm sure your daughter won't suffer for learning that lesson.

How are my kids doing now? Honestly they are doing GREAT! Do they like going back and forth between houses? No. Do they like that their family traditions, like vacations together and restaurant meals as a family have been disrupted? No. But they do feel loved by both of us, they know that we are there for them, they have each other, and that is more than enough. Believe me it is.

You can own and address and pick up the pieces from your own shortcomings and bad decisions. You can't fix the mess your wife has wrought. Your best path forward is to get away from her right now. Drop the rope. That is your only chance of having her come back around. Make it worse in order to make it better, it's the shortest path.

The path of half-measures leads to prolonged limbo and agony.


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Originally Posted by CurtisO
I would really like to know WHY my home and work over the last 37 years has to be dismantled!!

There are so many reasons WHY. The post above by LH19 is a great response.


It is a big onion with many layers to process. This has happened to countless number of couples. There are countless number of reasons. Somewhere this is human nature. There are exceptions to this, but you are not and are now part of the club.


One of the books I read, radical forgiveness, gave me a new perspective on the WHY. It does not mean that it is right (or wrong) but rather another possible WHY. Maybe this is something you need to experience? I always say it was the best worst thing that happened to me. I would not have experienced the personal growth if I did not go through this process.



Originally Posted by CurtisO
I am typically a very logical person and NONE of this makes any sense to me.
This is because it is an emotional (or feelings) issue. Use your logic to DB. Understand the the new tools and start behaving different.


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