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Dear Chump Lady, Should I divorce his cheating, Mormon ass?

Dear Chump Lady,

My story began last October when my husband of 11 years had a three week affair with random online girl. I found out about it via text messages on his phone. He was sorry. We have 5 kids under the age of 9. We are Mormon and have strong beliefs about how important having a strong “family unit” is in today’s world. I love him.

We started counseling, went to our religious leaders, cried and fought but all with the hope to “work it out”. Fast forward to Valentines day, 2014. Again via his phone, I found out he had been having another “emotional affair” for the previous 4.5 months with my friend from church! EVERYTHING but actual physical touching of each other.

I kicked him out. He was sorry. I was weak and dependent. I have been a SAHM for 9 years! We went tomorrow counseling, cried, fought more and I ended up leaving on a month-long trip to our home state to get some clarity. I was a train wreck! An emotional roller coaster- the upside down, backwards and insanely fast kind.

I came back home and he was living with a friend. We were going to go to more counseling. After he bailed on the first appt, I checked out our cell phone account and saw that while I had been away he had been talking to and texting 4-5 other women on a daily basis. I don’t know if he had actually dated them.

That was when I put a GPS tracker on his car and followed his ass on a date! I hopped chain link fences, I hid in bushes and took pictures of them holding hands, making out on the street and ultimately checking into a hotel for the night.

I confronted him with the evidence. He said he wants a divorce. Here’s where I need advice…he won’t file! He has been living away from the family since April 2014. A lawyer I consulted said that I could take the proactive approach and file myself, or take the reactive approach and see what he does (as long as he kept supporting us financially). I went the reactive route.

I am convinced he doesn’t want to file because he knows that if it gets to court I will whip out all my proof of multiple infidelities and then it will be court recorded and could affect his top-secret security clearance.

Meanwhile, he thinks he is getting joint custody of the kids and putting the 2 & 4 year old in daycare while he is at work!! WTF?

In the last weeks he has canceled visitation days to go on dates and other social activities. He is going to concerts, golfing, taking fishing trips and dating!

I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars in a court case but am not willing to let him off the hook when it comes to spousal support, full custody and child support. I don’t want to be the money-hungry bitch ex wife, but we had a very comfortable life and he chose other women over his wife and kids.

Should I go the mediation route or just file for divorce? Is it worth the money to just get the process started? I have finally come to grips with the fact that I am worth so much more and he is an Asshole. I want to be done with him. Please lend me some of your knowledge and experience!

Fierce Mommy

Dear Fierce Mommy,

You are sitting in the catbird seat. He left five kids, you have proof of his cheating, and he’s canceled visitation to go on dates. Absolutely file for divorce. File for primary custody and spousal support too while you’re at it.

Will the infidelity effect his security clearance? I tend to doubt it, but perhaps more knowledgable chumps can chime in here. My cheating ex had a level Q security clearance and three divorces (that I know of) because of his infidelities. And yet people hire him. Go figure. It maybe that they’re only interested in his divorce, and leave the particulars alone. I don’t know. But this is something to ask a lawyer about.

It’s certainly leverage however, and Fierce, don’t you dare pull your punches!

This man, like many other idiot “parents” (in the loosest term) want 50-50 so they don’t pay support. You’ve been a SAHM, sounds like he has a good profession, my guess is even without the infidelity, courts are going to take the path of least resistance. You get the kids, he pays support and gets every other weekend, or whatever standard visitation looks like.

But he LEFT you and 5 kids in April. And courts take that shit seriously. As they do documenting when he fails to show for visitation. You’ve got a lot to work with here. Plus proof of his infidelities, which often admissible even if you don’t live in a fault state. (Can effect custody, depending on the judge.) So save all your evidence!

I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars in a court case but am not willing to let him off the hook when it comes to spousal support, full custody and child support. I don’t want to be the money-hungry bitch ex wife, but we had a very comfortable life and he chose other women over his wife and kids.

Fierce, to get spousal support, custody, and child support — I’m sorry, but YES you have to spend thousands of dollars on a court case. Here’s the thing with cheaters, they might say “sorry,” but they don’t DO sorry. He’s not going to make this easy for you. He’s NOT going to give you a fair settlement. He’s going to do what he’s always done — chump you for his own benefit. Because he’s Special that way.

You go demonstrate that in court and let some judge hand his “special” to him.

You’re NOT a money hungry bitch, and fuck whatever Mr. Cheaterpants says to the contrary. You’ve got five children to support and a life to put back together. He blew up SIX people’s lives to fuck around. Damn straight he can pay the price.

Look, life is not going to be as financially comfortable as it was before. It’s just not. BUT, you won’t be at the mercy of a cheating asshole either. And you can rebuild — but you’re going to need support, which you’ve EARNED as a faithful partner. Do your damnedest to make the court see it that way.

Get a pit bull lawyer. Not a friendly mediator type. A lawyer with fangs, who if this was 1200 AD would have his opponent’s head on a pike as a warning to the other lawyers. You want Genghis Khan, Esquire.

And when you serve him, I hope Mr. Cheaterpants is wearing his magic Mormon underwear. He’s going to need it.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Fierce, no one WANTS to spend thousands on a court case but given he’s put you in this situation it’s something that will have to be done sooner or later. It’s just one of the sucky things that happen when you’ve had the misfortune to marry a twit. But you’ll survive just like many do because you’re strong and your kids need you. Cheaters often underestimate the strength and resilience of their chumps (goes with their monumental egos) so go deal to that loser!

      • I don’t think that is unusual in some states, especially when hubby abandons the family for an internet whore then doesn’t want to give the aggrieved a divorce.

        This is his game, Fierce. You’re just playing the cards you got dealt. Your only concern is for the financial security and welfare of yourself and your children. You are a chump, not a mega bitch.

  • “I don’t want to spend thousands of dollars in a court case. . . .”

    Of course you don’t. Because you’re a reasonable person. But this is a situation where spending money is not a luxury–it’s a necessity. Would you hesitate to “spend thousands of dollars” to cure a family member’s cancer? To extricate a family member falsely held in a third-world prison? To help a family member escape a violent spouse?

    Of course not.

    FM, this is the same situation.

    You and your kids are in crisis. You need to spend money to protect yourself and TO PROTECT YOUR KIDS. To make sure they have a roof over their heads, food on the table, health insurance in case they get sick. Today, tomorrow, and every day until they are adults. Every parent will agree that priorities don’t get any higher than that.

    Take a deep breath, find people around you (family members, church members, social workers–whoever that may be) who see your family’s well-being as the most important thing in the world, and lean on those people

    Wishing you strength for the journey!

    • Pay attention to Nomar, Fierce Mommy. He has laid your situation out with clarity. You job right now is to fight for every asset you can get, and I am not talking about money. I would go for whatever amounts to full legal control of the kids and no more than one evening per week and alternate weekends. The less he has those kids, the easier it is for you to rebuild and to guide their lives.

      And of course go for Genghis Khan, Esquire, but find the one that is highly esteemed in your church, the one with lots of juice in the community.

  • Fierce, do as CL says and come out swinging. My ex also had visions of 50/50 custody so he didn’t have to pay child support. Our two oldest, daughters ages 16 and 14, refused to go to his house, so we share 50/50 custody of our youngest, son age 11.

    What to know what that looks like?

    S11 spends most weekend with XH ALONE while XH goes on dates, socializes, etc. They don’t spend time together, because XH’s schedule doesn’t include kids any more now than it did when we were married. Raising kids is “boring” – or rather, it calls for XH to put someone other than himself first, so naturally, it doesn’t interest him.

    I think the same could be said of your spouse, Fierce.

    File and fight for your kids and put the religion issue on the shelf right for right now. Being a Christian means ACTING religiously, not paying it lip service while you pick and choose which commandments you want to follow.

    • “Being a Christian means ACTING religiously, not paying it lip service while you pick and choose which commandments you want to follow.”

      HALLELUJAH!

  • I think your Cheater has underestimated you. It takes great resilience to even produce five children, let alone bring them up properly. You are highly intelligent, have persistance, and deserve to be kept in the lifestyle you rightly expected to have. This is not being money-hungry or a bitch. You will need every penny to be able to do right by your children. And I so admire your detective work – that’s the most promising bit — that you haven’t stuck your head in the sand, but rather seen him clearly.

    I have an old friend from school who was married to a Mormon, and he left her with five kids a few years back. She did not pursue him for support as vigorously as she might have, and she has always struggled to make ends meet. She has had to run her own business (catering from her own kitchen) at the same time as bringing up the kids. He meanwhile galivants around…mr. handsome….arent’ they all…and pretends to be ‘proud’ of his sons’ sports successes. Meanwhile, she’s the one driving them to games. He just posts photos on his business website and pretends it’s all his doing. Jerk. And I knew that guy when he was 17 and he was a jerk then, too.

    Strength to you.

    • Hear! Hear! Taking care of five kids is not an easy gig. You’ve proven you have the strength and patience to do it, so I believe you can do the much easier task of seeing yourself through a court case. (It won’t be easy, but no one vomits on you in court–at least not in the literal sense.)

      No one keeps five kids going without a strong set of organizational skills and the ability to multi-task like a maniac. I agree–your “husband” has underestimated you in all sorts of ways.

      I’d like to say he’ll live to rue the day he mistook you for a patsy, but cheaters of this stripe are usually too busy seeing themselves as victims and martyrs to realize how they’ve underestimated others. It won’t matter though; you’ll be surround by your big family enjoying each others’ company while he tells his sad-sausage tale to the woman-of-the-week.

  • File and get whatever you need to survive and thrive. My ex pulled the ‘it’s all about the money, isn’t it?’ bullshit. To me, who had given up my career so he could pursue his full throttle and had absolutely nothing to fall back on. He fucked me over very, very badly, despite all his promises. Three years later I’m still digging myself out and putting my career back together. I’m doing ok but I live in a very, very modest home now (VERY VERY VERY MODEST) and struggle every day.

    Don’t trust a word he says, use whatever you’ve got to win the kids and support and the rest of it? His sure to be extra stupid comments? In one ear and out the other. Fuck that asshole. Go be mighty.

    • Same words were used on me, Nord. He stole tens of thousands from us and then retaliated big time when I dared to call him on it. Now he spits on the divorce agreement stipulations and counts on me not having lawyer retainer fees to call on it in court.

      Essentially Fierce Mommy, you have been “let go” of your job as wife. Now go fight for your kids so they have one sane parent. Good luck.

      • And every month he ‘forgets’ to pay the piddling amount of child support I was awarded until I remind him. He’s such a clichéd asshole.

    • Fierce, if he EVER says, “It’s all about money,” you say, via email, because you of course will be No Contact: “You betcha, asshole. It takes a lot of money to raise and educate five kids and you wanted me to be a SAHM to them. So now the bill for 5 kids and childcare is due. Pay up. Because these kids aren’t going to go without a decent life because you are a cheating, lying hypocrite.”

      • Exactly. When mine said that it’s all about the money crap, I said, “It is now, asshole. That’s your doing. You didn’t want any other responsibility besides bringing home a paycheck? Congratulations. You’re a paycheck, nothing more.” Don’t you dare feel guilty!

        • Ok…yes, best not to engage if you can avoid it. My ex confronted me in person and was 2 inches from my face. Not my finest moment, but it’s the spirit of the response that I was trying to convey, not the actions! Good reminder, ddw.

  • Fierce,

    I like the cut of your jib. I am fully confident that you will come through this with everything you deserve if you stay as strong as you seem to be right now. Please keep coming back to keep us all in the loop.

    ~LilyBart

  • Divorce him. Start the process yourself. You’re worth it. I don’t even know you, yet I can see that just from the way you speak, want what’s best for your children, and your chumpiness. Yes, being a chump is not a character flaw, it’s a strength. Trust is a strength.

    Remember he is showing you who he is with his actions. Always trust a persons actions. Remember you’re doing this for yourself and your kids. Hire a shark lawyer, go no contact and start the healing. It’s going to really sting for a long time. A long time.

    Remember you’re not alone. You got a family here in chump nation. Lean on us.

    • Fiery, I hope you have the stamina to keep up the fight. When you need motivation, or start to have some pity for the guy when he starts his poor-me performance, consider the fact that he lied to you for six months so that he could have his cake and eat it to. If you hadn’t taken it upon yourself to do the investigating, he’d STILL be playing you.

      He’s a selfish jerk with no regard for anyone’s needs or feelings but his own. He made his bed, and he isn’t going to like laying in it, but it was HIS choice. Do what you have to do, and don’t let him make you feel bad for it (cause, he will try).

  • Start documenting. Keep a daily log that lists things you’ve done for the kids. It should say, “Took X to gymnastics and Y to music lessons. Took X, Y, and Z to the dentist for regular check-ups.” Anytime he screws up you should write something like, “Joe cancelled his visit with the kids today because it conflicted with a date” or “Today was Z’s birthday. Joe made no attempt to call her or spend time with her” or “Joe arrived at 7:00 p.m. to pick up the kids. He had arranged to pick them up at 5:00, so he was 2 hours late.”

    Keep to the facts. Don’t explain how any of it angers or inconveniences you. Don’t write about how the kids feel–even if Z did cry when Dad didn’t call on her birthday. (You can give this evidence verbally in court, but it doesn’t belong in the fact-based log.) Keeping a log will take you 5-10 minutes max each day, but it could save you thousands and thousands of dollars.

    Your lawyer ought to be able to do a lot with a document of this sort if your “husband” asks for split custody.

    Don’t ever tell him you are keeping records. Let that be one of the things he discovers in court when he says, “I regularly visit my beloved children.” And your lawyer pulls out the list of 7 dates he has missed. And then he claims he participates fully in their medical care, and your lawyer demonstrates the 17 appointments you’ve taken kids to compared to his zero. A good lawyer can go to town with a log that lets him or her rattle off facts in the face of the broad, self-serving claims this kind of “parent” will make.

    • yes, i agree keep a log of events and everything. also write a journal of everything that is happening to you. i started one the day i kicked him out for not coming home on news years. i was such a train wreck, some days i couldnt get my head straight. but i wrote it all down, every conversation, every hateful and cruel word he said to me. immediately, the way i remember it. how i was feeling, what it was that hurt my heart and made me cry.

      And on the days, months out. when i start feeling sad over losing him, or i start to rethink the past “it really wasnt all that bad, was it” or “he was really a good husband, maybe i really did _________ like he said i did” i go back to my journals and re read all the bullshit he said and did to me. for me, it is easy to forget the bad. i have to force myself to remember the bad otherwise i can gloss over it and end up feeling sorry and wanting him back. i got into the habit that everytime i think about texing or calling him, i read one of my journals. and it CURES me from that insanity of calling him, just to talk, just to hear his voice.

      it really will help you pin point the reasons you left him, and divorced him. write it down.

  • Don’t for one minute think that he will continue to support you and your children in the same manner that he has in the past. Go for the divorce now! I waited two and a half years after my ex decided to cheat in me and our 14 year relationship and I am paying for it now. His promise to always support me financially now comes with the unsaid “once it suits me” and “once I agree to what I am paying for”. Really????? Don’t wait. Do yourself and your kids a favour. File now and pay now for the legal fees rather than have to pay later in one form or another. Save the heartache as well. Good luck.

  • You want Genghis Khan, Esquire.

    YES YES YES!!!

    I still gulp when I think of how much my divorce cost but also thank a benevolent universe that I was shepherded into selecting the best divorce lawyer in my area.

    The divorce process is so painfully difficult. Not only is our trusted spouse no longer available to consult – that spouse is now our adversary. We need a professional to guide us through this legal maze and to be the conduit for information. The importance of superior legal counsel cannot be stressed enough.

    During the final days of my personal divorce hell I was paralyzed by exhaustion and sorrow. I was weary but my attorney was fortified. She was a warrior – fighting for things I didn’t even know that I needed.

    You will NEVER regret securing the best attorney available.

  • One more thing……start the process before he goes on a spending spree in order to make him feel better and more “fulfilled” and to pursue his “dreams”. My ex just bought himself a mega boat while refusing to re-imburse for some minor expenses. Go figure!

  • In some states if you can show proof of infidelity the judge might order the cheating spouse to pay your lawyer fees. You just have to come up with the retainer.

    • And don’t forget assets! Once you get a fair settlement, some of the fees can come out of that money. If he gave you jewelry, sell that too as a way of coming up with cash that he doesn’t know about. It’s not like you will ever want to wear that stuff again.

  • These stories make me crazy. Probably bc my daughter has 5 children under the age of 11. If her husband did this I would be after him with a tire iron. The above advice is right on re the best lawyer you can find. Since he has not been in the household since April, it will not be as traumatic for the children when you tell them you are filing for divorce bc Daddy has girlfriends, and that is not acceptable. Just do it and I am beyond sorry. Five children means hard, hard work for everyone, as I well know (well, except for my exhusband and his wife).

    If he says it is all about the money, it most certainly is. Marriage is about love, divorce is about business. Period. And he does not really want 50/50 custody, as will be proven in a short time. Document, and keep your cards close to the vest. If you can find a divorce support group, get into it. Often those people have the best recs for good lawyers (and bad ones to stay away from). Good luck.

  • Fierce Mommy,
    I can solve the mystery of why he has not filed. He hasn’t filed because he doesn’t want to. He doesn’t have to. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that he doesn’t want to be divorced at all, at least not in the legal definition of the word.

    My dad has always told me that the easiest way to defeat an opponent is to get inside his head and see things from his point of view. My STBX left in January, and never filed. I filed when I found some of the cheating evidence. In May.

    See, with my STBX, he takes the path of least resistance. Why drop $5,000 or more on a lawyer retainer when you can just separate, call it temporary, because you need to “think things over”?

    Either that, or he won’t file because he knows that after cheating, lying, leaving his wife with no income of her own, and 5 small children to raise looks kinda shitty. If he files, it ups the ante to epically shitty. But, if he can get you to file, then he can change the narrative on you. He can spin it to say that he was the one TRYING to work things out, and you gave up by filing. That makes him the victim. Plus no filing means he is not legally obligated to give you a dime.

    If you have gone so far as to find evidence of multiple affairs with multiple women, please just file. You have probably only hit the tip of the iceberg. You know enough now to know that he is not someone you want to be stuck with your entire life. Keep digging, and all you will find is more dirt. The only thing about that is that your hurt and anger and depression and plummeting self esteem will grow at the same pace as your pile of dirt. Take what you have to a lawyer and stop kicking this dead horse.

    Also, two pieces of advice I had to learn the hard way:
    1. He may seem to be willing to support you at the beginning, but after you file, that shit will likely stop. He’ll be thinking he’s punishing you for making things difficult for him. Now, you’ve gone and made him do something he didn’t want to. Also, find a job as soon as you can. You’re going to need money, and there is never enough when you’re going through a divorce. I filed in May and still have no order of support of any kind because STBX refused to pay his attorney, so she canceled court 3 times. What he bought himself was another month of not being forced to pay child support or spousal support. Also, just because you get an order for support, don’t count on getting it. You will be amazed how quickly your Dr. Jekyll will turn to Mr. Hyde.

    2. Run, do not walk, to your OBGYN at once and get a full check up and testing for STDs. If he can screw women and lie to your face about it, he doesn’t care about giving you cooties.

    As my last piece of advice from the front lines: If ever you get the opportunity, I highly recommend the fine, fine services provided by the geniuses at crabsrevenge.com. Taking the high road is always best, but the low road feels heavenly sometimes. 🙂

    • I have to disagree with the advice to get a job right away. Ask your lawyer about that one first. If I’d gotten a job, my new income would have counted in the settlement and I’d have ended up with less child support and spousal support.

      • Absolutely. My atty said the same thing. They will use your income to offset his childsupport and any alimony. Wait on the job for now. FWIW I have 5 kids, 4 still at home. 1 in Afghanistan fighting his life everyday, and 4 ages 6 thru 12. Homeschool all of them and have been a sahm for 14 years. Gave up my career to stay home and raise kids. This sucks, but its better then staying with a lying,cheating sob. You sound very strong, you have all the evidence you need, FILE. Don’t wait. Its been 6 months since I filed and my Stbx is dragging his feet. I still don’t have a court date. So don’t wait. Do it. Good luck, let us know how you are doing.

      • I agree. She has 5 kids — she has a job! The court will think so too.

        File ASAP, ask for lots. Some of these losers who won’t lift a finger to file also won’t lift a finger to respond and will let things to go default. She could get everything she asks for.

        Temporary support orders will go a long way toward giving her breathing room.

        • I thought that too. I was a stay at home mom when my STBX left. I filed on May 6th and my court date was set for June 12th. That seemed like forever, especially when you have to borrow money just to buy groceries.

          When a stay at home mom is in this situation, you’re completely financially dependent. I had to email my STBX’s boss, who is also a single mom, pleading to have her intervene to get the STBX to pay the utilities the day before they were all going to be disconnected.

          That was May 24th. It’s now September 1st, and I still have no order of support. The courts take their time to do everything, and in the meanwhile you’re in a situation with no income. Thank God I went back to work in June, because I had no money and he refuses to give me any.

          You can’t trust a serial cheater. You can’t depend on them for anything. Especially money. They don’t have whatever circuit that says, “Hey, it’s my responsibility to pay for my children and make sure they have food, running water, and electricity.” They don’t play by the normal rules.

          So unless you have several month’s worth of savings that you have hidden from him, you’re going to have to do something. Find a way to at least bring in enough money to feed your kids and keep your utilities on.

          Trust a fellow chump who has been there, done that, and never wishes to return. It’s all on you now, sister.

          • I suppose everyone’s situation is different. I did have resources to live on while I played a game of chicken with ex over who was going to file first.

            The ex had a lot to lose by looking bad to the court and his own lawyer restrained a lot of his nastier impulses. He also wanted at least joint custody (his way of saying he didn’t want me to have sole custody) as so was pretty conscientious about child support from the get go.

            Hang in there Kelli — and when you get your orders finally — put his ass in jail if he doesn’t pay for his kids.

            • Thank you! My STBX left in January. He stopped paying all of the bills in February. I had about 2.5 months’ worth of household expenses saved, and that went pretty fast. D-day was April. Filed in May. Ran out of money in May.

              Unfortunately, mine is an especially disordered and delusional flavor of fucktard.

  • Hey FM,

    Not much to add to Chump Nation’s advice, apart from deal with ex as you would a case of crabs-decisively and with finality. Kelli is right-keep digging = only more dirt.

    Hugs-you are doing the right things! Coparenting with a cheater is no joke, or, the sickest joke there is. This is a long game, and it is your move!

    x-Meh.

  • When I started my master’s degree, I was working as a teacher in a Catholic school and barely making enough to survive. I don’t have any idea how I paid the tuition, other than in the third year I got a $500 inheritance that paid a bit of it. Then I went for the Ph.D and for the first 4 years made next to nothing and had some hard times scraping by. When I look back on that time, now all I see is the tremendously smart investment I made in my life. A more typical example is the sticker shock you get when you buy a new car. I always panic about making the payments after I’ve gone some years without doing that. But then I realize what a treat it is not to worry about the car breaking down. My point is you are thinking about the upfront cost of a good lawyer, rather than the lifetime investment you are making. Your cheaterpants STBX makes good money. You will need to re-enter the workforce and perhaps go back to school to do that. Your 5 kids will need everything including education.

    As you look for a pitbull lawyer, turn your investigative bent to your assets. What do the two of you have? Is there any chance he is hiding anything? What do you need to run your household? What sort of tax or pay records do you have? If you filed jointly for 2013, you know what he makes, pretty much.

    Remember that in many cases, once alimony or spousal support is awarded, that will go on until the final settlement, so filing and getting spousal support and child support now is important. He is likely to have to pay you more than he would voluntarily give. You have five kids under 9 and have been SAHM. Get the court on record. He may want to avoid having his wages garnished. Garnishment definitely impacts credit, and it may show up on his security clearances, as do all debts. My guess is that he has a vague notion that divorce will mean bad things for him financially but he figures you are a chump stuck with the 5 kids. Dig your heels in and give him the minimal contact time you can. Some states (PA) award additional child support, above the normal formula, for father who are mostly “absent.”

    Finally, take a long look at how you live (but don’t let STBX know this. While you certainly don’t want to give up your home, and certain costs like utilities are fixed, it’s possible for you to live a streamlined, less expensive life once support has been awarded. I am not just saying do that to save money; I mean that you want to start re-designing your life in accordance with your highest values. The nice lifestyle didn’t protect your kids from their highly entitled jackass father’s cheating, but to raise them to be strong and resilient as you are? That’s priceless.

    • PS–You may want to move 1/2 of those assets into a saving account in your name, for now, if your lawyer so advises.

    • “My point is you are thinking about the upfront cost of a good lawyer, rather than the lifetime investment you are making.”

      This. Divorce settlements can last years, even decades, and be the basis of the later choices you will have available, and that your children will have as they commence their independent lives (education costs).

  • THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU ALL!! It’s amazing what support does for ones self esteem! Bless you all and I look forward to more advice. Thank you CL for allowing my story to be told and giving your advice. I will take it to heart and start the hunt for Ghengis Kahn Esquire first thing tomorrow morning!
    Fierce Mommy

    • A word of clarification from a lawyer (me) about what might be meant by “Ghengis Khan Esquire.” IMO, it doesn’t mean rude, obnoxious, bullying, or uncooperative. Rather, I think it means suited to the adversarial process, very comfortable with it, someone who doesn’t shy away from an argument and actually seems to enjoy it, and someone who will never lose sight that your STBX is the adversary. No illusions that the other side is your friend or reasonable or inclined to “see the light” if only given some time.

      In my experience, the toughest and most effective courtroom lawyers–the ones who can fillet your ex (with words and reason, of course) without your ex even knowing the knife has entered his abdomen–will be widely liked and respected. By former clients and folks who work at the courthouse, but also by lawyers throughout his field. As the saying goes, even his (or her) enemies like him (or her).

      So don’t look for someone who is gruff or brusque. Look for someone who sees through your ex’s BS and talks about ways of cutting to the bone of the issue and getting resolution. In short, look for someone who sounds a lot like CL.

      • Excellent advice. My lawyer told me that she really enjoys the litigation process, but it’s cheaper and less draining on her clients’ emotions if they settle collaboratively. She doesn’t mind facing other lawyers–enjoys it, actually–but says that there is at least one lawyer in town who makes the process very unpleasant because he’s an arrogant asshole who loves to bring all the divorces to court instead of going the cheaper route of collaborative or mediated divorce for more straightforward cases.

  • My ex husband is LDS too!!! I just had to respond to your question to Chumplady. My ex cheated (but they didn’t have sex…..) He works for the church! I filed for divorce, it was final in April. He is still seeing the other woman, her marriage ended too (she is LDS as well). FILE FOR DIVORCE. I know you will feel guilty, etc. but as chump lady told me, “he shot the marriage, but is forcing you to take it out back and kill it” or something along those lines, it was much more eloquent than that, but you get the point.

    My youngest was 4 at the time. I got a part time job, stayed in our house. Get a pit bull attorney!!!!

  • FM,

    I hear an unwanted identity: “I don’t want to be the money-hungry bitch ex wife.” This is tied to feeling shame.

    So, what if he thinks you are this or other people think you are this? The truth is as CL lays it out: you are just trying to care for your kids after your Mr. Cheaterpants blew up your and their world through his selfish, destructive choices.

    Don’t allow shame to dictate your choices or manipulate you into not doing the healthiest things. My ex and her family would play the “bad husband” or “bad Christian” card to get me to dance. These are times to no longer accept their opinions as dictating your actions.

    It is sad when people believe lies about you. But you can choose to believe the truth: You are a mighty mother who is looking out for the welfare of your children by seeking a reasonable settlement and protecting your sanity through divorcing a serial cheater.

    • What he said, don’t take to heart mean spirited BS your stbx or others tell you. Listen to your heart and to people who deserve your respect.

    • You can mentally frame the spousal support settlement as your defined benefit pension plan.

      Or, better yet, reparations.

  • Fierce Mom: 2 yrs ago my husband asked for a divorce as he was having a EA with an old friend on FB I live in a no fault exquitable distribution state and have no children. I said OK get a lawyer. He dragged his feet asked for time to wait on the maturity of an annuity, wanted to mediate then didn’t. he never saw a lawyer. I did got my ducks lined up and waited. Some other stuff happened didn’t go through with divorce and the OW dumped him and now I sit here wishing I had filed and been done. From talking with other women I have found most men talk divorce threaten divorce but then don’t do anything about it. They like to watch you dance and get all emoitionally upset ect… also they are lazy and don’t want to look like the bad guy. If you haven’t see a lawyer, get all and any finacial info you have make copies and store off site. File for divorce, he can drag his feet all he wants. Not sure how this works in a mormon state but you have tried all routes to trying to save your marriage and don’t let them browbeat you back to it now. you will only be resentful and this is no good for your children. and he will cheat again. come to this site for support and insight. see a therapist for yourself not to save your marriage.

    • I just love how all these guys will only admit to an Emotional Affair(s). According to my ex, he was having a non affair with the woman I caught him in bed with.

      Denial….thy name is “do I look stupid”.

      • Or, as cheaterpants and the AP sit up in bed and look at you: “Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?”

      • I just received a Declaration from my stbx this morning with sworn statements from both he and the affair partner that they are just friends….whatever!
        Do I look stupid?!

  • Wow, I feel for you. Please don’t consider yourself “weak and independent” for trying to make it work and you are not a “bitch” when you demand what you need to take care of the five children you created together and the career you did not pursue to raise those children. He crapped all over your marriage and your faith. He can cough up the monthly check. One side of my family is LDS, so I at least marginally understand the dynamics.

    I would encourage you to be “proactive” and file. He can also pay your attorney fees while he’s at it. He can pay for your professional development. He can keep the kids on his insurance. He can pay child and spousal support. This is not about making him “pay”. It’s about getting the resources your need to run your family when he bailed.

    Filing also puts you in the driver’s seat. I went reactive. . . But I also didn’t have children and decided to let him dig his own hole. Sometimes I wish I had the satisfaction of being the plaintiff though. Good luck!

    • I agree….child and spousal support isn’t about revenge (though cheaters would like everybody to think so – because then it looks less tacky when they try to get out of paying). It’s about “damages”, real financial damages inflicted when one party bails on the contract. Period.

  • Fierce mommy, if you are in a fault state I urge you to file ASAP for desertion, adultery and abuse, the last of course only if his actions warrant it under your state laws. In my state if spouse leaves for six months, that is desertion, so long as you don’t live together or “date” during it.

    My ex bullshitted me with wanting mediation and to work out a settlement before filing. After six months it was apparent he would not accept any fair settlement. I was the one spending money on an attorney trying to meet his settlement shit halfway, he spent nearly nothing. You can end up spending more going that route with a liar. I spent so much revising a settlement that my ex had no intention of ever signing, it would have cost less to file immediately. So I advise you to get that lawyer and file with all guns, my filing was embarrassing for me but it was worth it. My ex got served and said it would ruin him, so yeah he settled before the court date. It would not have ruined him, he just didn’t want that shit in the record. He said it was humiliating, poor sausage.

    Important, CL asked us to chime in on the clearance:
    DO NOT BUY HIS BULLSHIT ABOUT THE CLEARANCE !!! It is a flat out lie. I have one, my ex had one. I researched this because my ex said the same shit about adultery and about the protective order. Neither of these things will affect your husbands clearance, flat.out.lie. Designed to control you, he won’t lose the clearance over any of this. Even a domestic assault charge will not affect your clearance, you know what will? A DUI. Srsly, the gov is more worried about alcoholics than they are about whether you assault your spouse and they don’t give a shit about spousal infidelity. They would side eye if he hides money from you though, that would perk their ears up, they get real concerned about financial infidelity.

    Jedi hugs ?

    • That should of been, Jedi hugs!

      And, I didn’t just google this crap, I spoke to the security people who know about this stuff. If he’s been dodgy with finances they may look into it. A divorce? They won’t even bother to find ot until his reinvesting action comes up.

    • Like Dat, I was a super co-operative divorce candidate for a whole year of mediation (which cost a fortune, and which I did all the work for — finding & generating financial documents because my now-ex has a doctorate in learned incompetence if the task doesn’t suit him).

      I explained that I expected him to file, because I didn’t seek the end of the marriage (he did — admitted adultery, stated intention to seek new relationship with fellow-jesus-cheater, engaged openly in unilateral exit affair). Mediators counseled that he get a move on and file, because he was adamant that the marriage was over for him. He assented, agreed to file directly.

      And then…crickets.

      After a year (1 year!) I filed, for cause (adultery) — and he was furious.

      Because? Well! He was going to file! He was just about to file! also, I am not the boss of him! also, why did I have to file for cause? (duh– divorce is 6 months faster if filed for cause in my state; and after a year I thought it was time to close out the crazy to the extent that I could and begin the process of being able to stop paying lawyer’s fees; and also naming his affair partner offered some leverage if need be, though it never came to trial).

      In the end, it was better to have filed — most of all better psychologically to own my own reality (I was never ever ever going back to that guy: cue the Taylor Swift chorus with creepy bedtime animals).

      Strength to your metaphorical sword arm.

      • What state do you live in? I’m in MD and it’s the same thing- wait 12 months unless I use the adultery card.

      • My filing story is pretty hilarious. Both STBXH and I are lawyers who don’t practice family law. So when I finally made the decision to divorce, I hired a divorce attorney, she drew up the papers, gave them to the marshal to serve, and told me it was OK to give him a courtesy heads up that he was going to be served the next day. I called him and gave him the courtesy heads up, he did the expected freak out, yada yada.

        The next day, he was served with the divorce complaint. Later that same day, I was in the shower when a marshal started banging on my front door and yelling, and then served me with a whole separate divorce complaint, a totally different lawsuit, in a different courthouse, filed by my STBX. He tried this “race to the courthouse” thing so that HE could be the plaintiff, HE could choose which courthouse the case would be heard in, and HE would be the one that filed not me.

        OOOOPS, though, he was out of luck: because first of all I filed mine first; then he also screwed it all up about ten different procedural ways, filed it all wrong, and had to withdraw it. So he spent hundreds of dollars on a marshal and filing fee, and then immediately had to suck it up and withdraw his action.

        When I asked him once in a later argument (before blessed, blessed NC) why he behaved like such a complete jackass, he said because he didn’t want the case to be in the courthouse I practice in every day. Specifically: “I didn’t want the divorce case to go to trial in the courthouse you practice in, because all the judges and lawyers and everybody knows you and likes you and respects you there.”

        And you practice there all the time too, buddy. Strange that they like and respect me, but maybe not you so much? I wonder what they will think if this ever goes to trial and he testifies. Frankly, I’m not worried about testifying in that courthouse and then going back there to do my job; I’ve got nothing to hide. Maybe he thinks he won’t sparkle so brightly, however, if people know what he’s done. Oh well. Meh.

        • Defying
          First can I say how much I admire and respect smart independent women like you, and CL of course. This blog is so inspiring to a dumb, dependent woman like me! I’m jealous 🙂

          So I guess your STBX doesn’t really believe that justice is blind?

          I hope you and smart women like you rule the world someday.

          • Trying: don’t ever call yourself dumb and dependent! You’re here, so you’re at least doing that to help yourself; and I bet you’re way more “mighty” than you’re giving yourself credit for.

            Re justice being blind…well I think it actually sees very clearly; and I think that’s what has STBXH so worried.

            • Defying
              Thank you for your kind words. Trust me I am limited in the mightyness aspect of my life. But I can appreciate those women who are mighty so in a way I get to live vicariously.

              I think Justice does too see very clearly and I’m happy your STBXH is shaking in his proverbial boots!

        • It really didn’t occur to him to find out when/where the original petition was filed? Seriously? I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that he’s not a very good lawyer.

  • Fierce, just remember this- for every one detail you know about your cheating husband, there are four more you have not found out about. If you choose not to file right away, at least start skimmimg some money and put it in a safe place for future use. I was able to get several thousand dollars without my dumbass husband even knowing about it. Guess he should have known a little bit more about our finances, instead of taking up his day sexting his girlfriend ! Anyway, when you do file remember to include any retirement accounts he has as assets. You are entitled to half of that money. Of course he don’t want to file, he is getting by much cheaper by just ” keeping you and the children up”. You stand a great chance of getting spousal support, for at least as long as it takes you to get back into the job market. Hey, that could take as long as two years or so (take your time!) Between child support for five children and maintenance for you… Nobody is going to want his broke ass!! Oh well! Gotta pay to play!
    As for me… I took everything including the echo in the empty house! Divorce is Hell, but you basically just have to remind yourself that he made a decision every day to deceive and destroy not only you but your precious children. Good luck!

    • Awesome Mona Lisa!!! They are better off financially just stringing family along, I agree…..Now my ex has nothing, zip, zilch. Not because I took it all, but because we were married for 19 years, I put him through college, had 3 kids, was a SAHM. He should have thought about how much it was going to hurt him in the pocketbook when he started seeing an “old friend” and sharing marriage woes and spending “work conferences” together. Grrrrrr.

      • It isn’t just the financial benefit. Many of these guys are players, and there is nothing that says “I can’t get serious right now” like, I’m not divorced yet. It’s romantic cover.

        • Yeah, and nothing slows down the exciting new single life like having to give half your net pay to your spouse. Or 60%, in some cases. Also–make sure you have him take out a term life insurance policy that will cover 15 or more years of child rearing and education. $2 million value? Ask your attorney. If he is in his thirties, it won’t be that expensive. Now.

        • Exactly. Which is why my STBX was pissed when I removed “wife” from all my social media sites. When that comes to the attention of his hussy – who I know trolls my social media sites – it might put the pressure on for him to do more than fly here around for their international f***fests.

  • You are mightier than you realise, Fierce. Just had to comment about your “We are Mormon and have strong beliefs about how important having a strong “family unit” is in today’s world,” comment. Incorrect. YOU have the strong beliefs, he was just playing a role. He has no beliefs whatsoever other than, “I wanna do what I like, and no one can tell me otherwise.” Nyah, nyah, nyah. Let’s see how that works out for him long term.

    I have a Mormon friend in a similar situation – down to the same number of kids. It is ugly as neither of them will leave. He even had her arrested when they were supposed to be “working on their marriage.” He is the same ass that your husband is.

    Get that divorce, and nail him for everything your children are entitled to financially – it’s not being a bitch, just being fair.

    • “We are Mormon and have strong beliefs about how important having a strong “family unit” is in today’s world. I love him.” WOW!

      I agree with horses’ comment above, he’s no where near your belief-system. In fact, he mocks both you and it continuously. I would suggest that you really don’t love him but the concept of him…the false-front he’s worn for years.

      Now think with logic here, isn’t it the lowest form of cowardice for a man/woman to hide their self-serving lust behind an institution that stands for high morality and family values? That surely isn’t the man you love.

      And don’t get fooled by any remorse or attrition. I repeat to you a lesson I’ve learned the hard way, unless someone had sex forcibly against their will, they will cheat again and again. It doesn’t matter the whys and wherefores, they will cheat. All that’s needed is an opportunity…and they are the architects of both opportunity and excuse.

      You haven’t lost him, he was never the one you loved. Sorry to say hurtful things but we’ve all been deceived by the ‘good’ people in our hearts and have lost the shiny surface of trust.

      Loose this jerk and save your best for someone whose substance is more deeply rooted.

      Good luck.

      • Thank you all for your advice and support! My husband has actually struggled with a sexual addiction since he was young. No excuses– he made the WRONG choices! He was once the most loyal person I have ever known… Isn’t that a kicker?!

        In the beginning, I was open to working through the affair. However, as time went on and his actions showed his true colors, I understand that he is not the man I married – not the man I love. He may never be that man again and so I can’t risk the well-being of my kids. They are the ultimate priority!

        I’ve made phone calls this am already and have followed some great advice given here. Thanks again for all your support! Even though you are strangers, you understand what I am feeling and that makes all the difference!

        Fierce Mommy

        • Good for you Fierce. Now go be fierce and show him your boundaries. My prayers are coming to you and your dear children.

        • I’m so glad we’ve been helpful. Please don’t fall for the sex addiction BS. Addiction is about a substance that your body acclimates to and you get withdrawals when you attempts to stop. I love sex, I haven’t had it in years and somehow I managed not to cheat.

        • Fierce Mommy,
          Make sure you notify the church so he gets tossed out. Many cheaters like this prey on women in the faith because they believe that you will be a chump….you need to protect his future victims as much as you can.

  • Chiming in late:
    Ys, exH did for want to be married to me, but I had tobe the one to file. Lazy coward.

    You should go ahead and file: I used a mediator and regretted it.

    Change your frame of mind: get what the courts decide you and the kids deserve. You are not being greedy (I am still plagued with those thoughts as exH and I are heading back to court to resolve issues that the mediator should have brought to our attention 2 years ago….

  • You tried to reactive route and it’s done you no good. Time for proactive. From the timeline you gave, you know there’s a minimum of 6 women in about a 6 month period, you have photo evidence of them making out, leading to a hotel stay etc. As my husband DM so well stated, don’t give in to or accept the lie that you’re “the money hungry bitch ex-wife.” That’s what cheaters WANT you to think. It keeps you under their power and continues their supply of kibbles. What your ex doesn’t realize is that there’s a mirror behind him and you can see the cards he has in his hands. CL has laid it out as she always does. Her most recent post on 3 channels of mindfuck will tell you the moves to expect from him.

    Your husband saying he wants a divorce but not actually filing is him keeping himself in a position of power, keeping him in cake and kibbles. Why on earth would he end that by filing for divorce? It’s a threat to see what you’ll do. There’s no more room for you to be reactive, it’s time for proactivity. When you go out tomorrow morning, follow Nomar’s advice and get a lawyer who’ll call the BS and sound like CL. Keep all of your documentation. Stick to your guns. You’re going to face religious backlash for the divorce card. Don’t buy into it. I don’t know what the Book of Mormon says but you have solid grounds for a divorce from the Bible end. Knowing the high value placed on families, I would hope your husband will face an ample amount of backlash for repeated adultery. I know the church drops the ball on this all too often though as well.

    It sounds like maybe your husband would be better suited to go live with the sects that still practice polygamy. Can you get excommunicated for unrepentant adultery? And ditch that ass of a friend that got involved with your husband if you haven’t already. If there’s no wait period, play the adultery card. You don’t need to remain in another 12 months of waiting period hell when you have the physical proof.

  • Fierce –

    I agree with what everyone is saying about lawyering up and fighting for the kids and your fair share of the assets and spousal and child support. And yes, you need to file. He might be contributing the way he always has for now, but there’s no way he will keep that up forever.

    So I want to talk to you about thinking about what you will do when the spousal support ends.

    I was a SAHM when I filed a couple years ago… 2 kids 1.5 and 3 years old. My ex also makes a good living; I went through a mediator (but that definitely won’t work for everyone and I’m kinda questioning it now since I’m back in court fighting for the kids) and got a large amt of spousal support until my youngest starts 1st grade. And a small amt of child support as well – which will go up (though I will have to file/petitiion for that, whatever the lingo is) once spousal support ends bc my income will decrease. However, I just got a job so child support will most likely go down now bc of the increase in income (though work-related childcare expenses will be included in the calc so that would increase it… we’ll have to see how it nets out).

    I was only out for 4 years and spent the last year going back to grad school. And it was still tough to land something good because, I’ll admit, it’s hard in an interview to impress people with your previous skills and accomplishments when they are 5 years old even when you have just been to school. It’s kinda hard to even remember them yourself!

    Your legal battle and getting what is rightfully yours should be your main concern right now. But in the back of your mind you need to start thinking about what you will do to support yourself later on. You don’t need to go out and run the world, but you have a long life in front of you and you should start thinking about how you want that to look. It is also more expensive to run two households, so there will be less money to go around overall and you may want additional money to contribute to the childrens expenses. So, I’d think about potential career opportunities now and start thinking about a plan for that. And I might sound money hungry, but don’t DO anything now so you can get as much out of him as possible. And you do still have very young kids to take care of, I’m sure. But at least start thinking about it.

    Anyway, people might think I’m a money hungry bitch, but all I did was take what the mediator determined I should get – and I consulted with a couple additional lawyers to make sure that amt was in line with what they said. But I did not back down from that no matter what BS my ex pulled (including threatening suicide becuase “he’s worked so hard for so long and now won’t have anything to show for it”). If I’d been married to him for 20 or 30 years and stayed home and raised kids through high school, etc., I would have expected that shit for life. But that is not my reality. I hope you get spousal support as long as you can. But I think you should also think about being able to supplement that yourself eventually and even further down the road be able to support yourself and contribute to the kids expenses.

    Hope that doesn’t scare you… hopefully it excites you to think about what your new life could look like!

  • Hi Fierce:

    Great advice here.

    Here’s the bottom line. Your cheaterpants doesn’t want divorce because 1) his kibble supply drops and 2) it’s expensive. Right now, he gets to eat both kibble and cake. Whyever would he want to get divorced?

    Of course, it’s terribly unfair to you and your children, but that doesn’t matter to him because, hey! He has cake and kibbles!

    Go lawyer shopping for Genghis Khan. I like the idea of finding a family law lawyer within your church, but ask around to find out who’s good. Go for the consulting. Your husband has deserted you and your five children.

    What kind of louse does that?

    You and your kids deserve better. Toss that man back into the gutter. Once you’re free of him, get some therapy (living with a cheater will skew you, so you need to do a bit of work), and when you’re ready, you’ll be able to find someone in your church who shares your and your church’s values with respect to family.

    Hugs, because you are definitely MIGHTY!

  • Chump Lady

    You are awesome. I love your advice. Your advice to this SAHM is right on. You do such a great service to people who are so lost after discovery. I wish I had known about you in the early days of my discovery of my husband’s affair.

    Fierce
    I can tell you from experience. LAWYER UP!!! Nasty, go for the jugular kind of lawyer. There’s no other kind at this point and for your circumstances. You’ve got 5 kids and they ain’t cheap to raise.

    This is your only chance to get what you want and what you deserve. Do NOT go nice to see if you two can work it out without involving a lot of court costs etc because in the end it will cost you anyway. Amicable divorces are non-existent. Probably the court will mandate mediation anyway so don’t go volunteering it. Keep good records. This is WAR and in war it is better to be feared than loved. You will only BE empowered when you empower yourself and get the outside help you need and that is good, fierce lawyer and a therapist to listen to you and keep you heading in the right direction.

    Stay strong and be strong. Good Luck

  • Dear fierce mommy,

    Thank goodness that you have decided to follow the advice ..that you are going to file instead of waiting for him to do it. I agree with all that CL advises, she is spot on.

    I can speak from experience I to tried to do the nice amicable divorce letting him file. He contacted the lawyer around May 9 submitted paperwork and the had a secret meeting with the lawyer on May 13. He denied meeting with her and insisted it was via email/phone meeting . This is not true since I found a paper with the appointment date and time in his suit pocket. After waiting for 4 weeks the only thing the wasband produced was a petition to file and guardianship papers that needed to be filled out.

    Enter the weeks of mind fuckery, marriage counseling, funding out thru his
    Email and phone records that there were other women dating back to the birth if my 7 year old son. Apologizing saying he sorry, then Turing around and changing his facebook status as separated, also asked to seperate his phone bill so that I can’t see his calls, changing his email and FB passwords. The cherry on top was unfriended me on Facebook and claiming he did that on accident.

    Basically he was dragging his feet on it and insisted that I fill out the forms for him to submit to his lawyer. I refused, he kept me in the dark about everything regarding the divorce. I instead consulted with a lawyer and filed myself in the end of June. And yes I had to pay a retainer and it is costly but my piece of mind is worth more and not having him at a postion of power.

    When he finally contacted his lawyer she advised him that I filed he went nuts. He opened a separate bank account and separated half of the savings and half of the checking accounts. And then still to my face cried and asked for forgiveness. I filed for temp orders that same day.

    Not even a few weeks later I find a receipt in his pocket for condoms and the empty box in his car. I knew that I had made the right decision not to believe his words and to trust his actions.

    Court was 8/13 and got child support and him out the house. Yay!I am feeling mighty got thru first week of kids back to school without his help. Next up is the final divorce settlement.. I am at the home stretch. It is a long, sad, depressing, confusing process just take it one day at a time. Trust that he sucks, and don’t think that because he is Mormon or that you have 5 kids with him will make him play nice.

  • Fierce:

    Not much to add, the great chumps and CL have said it all already. Just wanted to express my support and sympathy for your situation.

    Don’t be afraid to file yourself. I found it very empowering. It was the first thing I did in a long time that was healthy to protect myself from further abuse. I don’t think at all that it makes the filer look like a “bitch” or whatever. I think it makes you look like a strong, independent person who isn’t going to eat this shit sandwich any more. I find that the more things I actually do to take care of myself, the easier it gets and the more I understand why I need to and should have been protecting myself a long time ago.

    And from a purely legal strategy position, if you’re the plaintiff you tell your story first, whether it be in mediation, trial, whatever. That sets the tone and the parameters for the whole rest of any proceeding or discussion. You want him back on his heels trying to defend himself, not setting the dynamic himself.

    Good luck, and major HUGS!

  • Wow. I just learned yesterday that my cheating, lying, Mormon ass of a STBX went back to his affair partner on Sunday night. Must be something going around.

  • Dear ChumpLady and Supporters,

    It’s been three years since I posted and you replied. I’m reading through all these amazingly supportive responses from absolute strangers. It has been hard- REALLY HARD. Our divorce took 3 YEARS! Now, the kids and I live in Utah and he is still in Maryland.

    This is my problem- I can’t stand to even look him in the eye (when he comes to visit the kids). I know (by his actions over the years) that he is such a small, selfish human being. I LOATHE him. And yet, I still have dreams at night that we are back together- back before everything blew up, when I believed I KNEW what my life was and would continue to be. When I knew that whatever happened, WE would get through it together.

    Yes, I am very aware of my abandonment issues. I just can’t let go of what I thought I had, what I was working on and for every single day. How do you get through those desperately lonely nights?

    How do I make my heart accept what my head knows?

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