Dear Chump Lady,
My husband of almost 10 years sat me down on the couch one day and told me, “I think I’d like a divorce.”
Five days after that, he wrote me an e-mail that said “We are getting a divorce.” Just 6.5 months prior I had given birth to our second child, 5.5 months prior moved to another state so I could start a new job, and had his parents move in with me per his insistence, 4.5 months prior he began commuting back and forth from our home state since he couldn’t find a job in the new state, and 3 months prior lost our dog of twelve years.
Two weeks after receiving the e-mail he told me he was in love with another woman that he had known for 4-5 years. She had broken up with her boyfriend 6.5 months prior and this guy committed suicide just 3 months afterwards. He was a friend of my husband’s and I can only assume that this deeply affected him. He had invited this woman to stay with him in our home state so she could get her mind off of the ex-boyfriend. This visit occurred just three weeks prior to D-day. Later he told me that they had a wonderful time, that she slept in the bed, and they kissed at the airport, but they didn’t have sex.
So, from his point of view he has done nothing wrong. He told me he wanted a divorce prior to having sex with her. He says he didn’t have sex with her until 2 months after D-day.
So is he really a cheater?
By the way, D-day occurred almost 9 months ago. He still hasn’t filed for divorce. He agreed to marriage counseling only to get me to a “happy and healthy place.” We went to four sessions during the first month after D-day. I was told I needed to work on myself before trying to work on the relationship. He agreed to a one-year separation only if it was an open relationship. Since I didn’t want a divorce, I felt obligated to agree. So now I feel in some way maybe he isn’t a cheater.
Okay, he’s not a cheater. If we take him at his word:
1. Men just mysteriously one day want divorces apropos of nothing.
2. He visits with a woman he’s known for 5 years, has her to your home state (where he travels a lot “for work”), sleeps in your bed, but they just kiss at the airport.
3. Two weeks after he says wants a divorce, he professes his love for another woman, based on that innocent “kiss.”
4. His friend just happens to kill himself after breaking up with this woman. And a couple months after that event, she “kisses” your husband and they’re in “love.” Because nothing makes people more emotionally ready for a relationship than the recent, violent death of their ex.
Here’s one thing we KNOW about your husband, Michelle — he’s a liar. He says he wants a divorce, and yet, he doesn’t divorce you. Because cake is so delicious. He’s got both worlds — his new “love” and someone to take care of his parents, raise his kids, and be his ready-made side-dish spouse. Oh, and didn’t you mention you have a job and he struggles to find one? (Or does he still have one in the home state that he commutes to, or is that a cover story?) How convenient of you to have income. Let’s keep things “open” he says.
Oh yeah, he’s NOTHING like a cheater. (Smell that? It’s sarcasm.)
Michelle, if I told you he was a cheater, would it make you divorce him? Because this divorce thing works both ways, you know. You can divorce HIM. Whatever he is, he’s checked out of your marriage, he says he loves someone else, and circumstantial evidence is such that he’s had a much longer affair with this woman than he’ll admit, and my guess is the ex-boyfriend/friend of your husband killed himself over the discovery of infidelity. Can I prove it? No, it’s just one of those great, big, flaming coincidences.
I just find it hard to believe that anyone, who isn’t a sociopath, could go from that event and mere weeks later be in love with a married man and father of two. I suppose you could argue that the suicide unhinged her to do such a callous, stupid thing. But what does this say of your husband? He’ll travel out of state to fuck the recently bereaved?
Please dump this guy. Tell the in-laws they need to find a new place to stay and the particulars are your soon-to-be-ex’s problem, not yours. You’ve got two small kids to take care of. You don’t need his parents too — who, by the way, should be ashamed of him and not taking advantage of you by living with you! Reassure them they’ll see their grandkids, but you cannot pretend this arrangement is okay when their son has ABANDONED his family! Keeping you obligated to them keeps HIM in cake. Time to sever those ties, however unfair this may feel to them. You need to protect your emotional well-being as stay as no contact as possible. Living with his parents makes that impossible.
Michelle, this is a real clusterfuck. Please talk to a lawyer soonest about how to start extricating yourself from this mess. Oh, and your “happy healthy place” cannot be found in marriage counseling — it’s over at your new, improved life far away from this wing nut.